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Any gardners out there? (lead soil issue)

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Stray_cat, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Stray_cat

    Stray_cat Monkey

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    I'm planning on starting a veggie garden this year, but there's a really good chance my soil has lead in it (Due to the fact the home and other surrounding homes were build in the 1850s). Is it possible to get around this issue by building a 1 foot high box? Would I have to close off the bottom? Or do I have to repalce a whole lotta soil?

    Thanks
     

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  2. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    ask you local county extension agent to see about having your soil tested
     
  3. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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  4. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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  5. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    Raised beds will help a little, but as n8 said, I would have the soil tested first.

    We did raised beds in the old house because the ground was heavy clay with lots of rocks. It was easier to add good dirt then to fight with the existing soil.
     
  6. buildyourown

    buildyourown Turbo Monkey

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    You can buy instant lead test kits at Home Depot, etc. Check, but I think they work on soil too. I doubt that paint chips would really raise your lead levels high enough to cause issues in plants. I've heard of very high soil lead issues, but it was caused by leaded gasoline in areas very close to busy highways.

    Raised beds are a good idea regardless. Dirt is cheap. Build a 1ft deep box. Dig down another 6-12" and use that "old" dirt as fill somewhere else. Fill the boxes with topsoil/compost mix. I have 2 veggie boxes on an old dirt driveway and this is what I did.

    Veggies don't really grow roots that deep. Most stuff is less than 6-8"
     
  7. Stray_cat

    Stray_cat Monkey

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    Cool, thanks for the insight. From the tone of everything it doesn't sound as hard/expensive as I thought it'd be to test me soil. Either way glad to know I have some options.
     
  8. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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    $9.00 from UMass
     
  9. H8R

    H8R Cranky Pants

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    Add lots of compost and some gypsum to break up the clay. (takes time though)