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What muck to worry about?

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default What muck to worry about?

Post by Hairyloon on 11th March 2010, 9:29 pm

I am presently rearranging my garden. There is a big gully that has obviously been accumulating, probably since the house was built: bricks, soil, litter and debris... but next to the parking space, so possibly also motor fluids, etc. Think I'd notice a significant oil spill though.

So I've been dumping the soil there, there and there, with intent to call them beds.
But is there anything I should worry about with regard to contamination or owt?
I can't think of any good reason, but I can hear certain people describe the soil as filthy on account of all the litter that was in it... but there is nowt toxic in litter, else they wouldn't wrap food in it.
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Post by Adrian on 11th March 2010, 9:50 pm

I would plant something that thrives in crap soil like blueberries, any of the vaccinium family for that matter.

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Post by polgara on 11th March 2010, 10:22 pm

A nice bed of stinging nettles for the bees ect & to make wine or have with salads. Very good for arthritus.
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Post by Hairyloon on 11th March 2010, 10:32 pm

Badger wrote:I would plant something that thrives in crap soil like blueberries, any of the vaccinium family for that matter.
I think it is actually pretty good soil, once it's separated from the bricks and litter; mostly dark and crumbly.
Quite likely it is largely composed of leaves that have blown in.
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Post by Compostwoman on 11th March 2010, 11:01 pm

Might want to be concerned about toxins from cars...?

perhaps grow something which has fruit on, for a year at least....as Badger suggests...or plant some soft fruit bushes in there..

I wouldn't grow any root veg for a year or two if you are at all concerned....

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Post by Hairyloon on 12th March 2010, 9:52 am

Compostwoman wrote:Might want to be concerned about toxins from cars...?
Certainly don't /want/ to be concerned about them. Question is, should I be? And by how much?
What toxins might we be talking about, and how do they behave?
perhaps grow something which has fruit on, for a year at least....as Badger suggests...or plant some soft fruit bushes in there..
What would fruit bushes do with the alleged toxins?
Would they take them up and not put them in the fruit?
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Post by Compostwoman on 12th March 2010, 10:04 am

All plants you grow there will "take up" the alleged toxins...but what you want is to be eating the end result which is as far away as possible ( growth wise) from the take up process as you can...so root veg, growing in the soil would be a less good idea..quick growing leafy veg ( salads) likewise..but something where a lot of growth has to happen before you even get to the end result ( like soft fruit or a fruit tree, say...is more likely to have less of an alleged toxic burden in it..

Or you could just grow a sacrificial crop of soft sappy stuff ( any ols seed, tares, etc...mow it and dispose of it, repeat a few times and burn the "crop"..and then plant stuff.

Or you could just get on with it and not worry..

Or you could send a sample of soil off for analysis, then you would know if you DID need to worry about it..

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Post by Hairyloon on 12th March 2010, 10:56 am

Compostwoman wrote:Or you could send a sample of soil off for analysis, then you would know if you DID need to worry about it..
I was wondering about that. How is that done?
I'm thinking that you either look for specific things, or you chuck it through something generic like a mass spectrometer, and I'm thinking in the latter, most of the work is in preparation and interpretation...
So if I do that, I've just need to find someone who can bung it through the machine for me.
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Post by Guest on 12th March 2010, 11:54 am

I wouldn't eat anything grown there for awhile. I do have a book that talks about planting that cleans out run off from car parking areas but its with a friend at the momment and I didn't read that section very intensely as I don't have the problem...I should get it back next week.

I do know sunflowers are used to clean soil on land fill sites.

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Post by Hairyloon on 13th March 2010, 5:29 pm

Zoe wrote:I do have a book that talks about planting that cleans out run off from car parking areas but its with a friend at the momment and I didn't read that section very intensely as I don't have the problem...I should get it back next week.
A few snippets from that would be very handy. Thanks.
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