Can I garden in old coal bed?

riverman1June 27, 2013

Guys on my property is an area that for many years was used to store coal to heat the house. The area is maybe 15 feet long and 10 feet wide. I removed most of the large surface chunks but there is still a significant amount of smaller pieces. Coal may have been stored here for several decades, I don't know. My question is if I get most out then put in potting soil where I want to plant can I get anything to grow?



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franktank232(z5 WI)

Don't see why not...i'd throw a bunch of mulch right over the top of it... Are we talking trees here or lettuce?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:56AM
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I was thinking berry plants, maybe raspberries, boysenberries

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:16AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I won't be afraid of coal at all. It's basically carbon. Highly compacted peat. Not really that different from the organic fraction in those highly fertile black soils in the Midwest.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:57PM
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All depends on where the coal came from. some coal develops relatively high levels of some heavy metals.

Additionally there can be minerals such as pyrite that when exposed to air and oxygen make for a pretty strong acid solution...leaching and mobilizing other contents. All of these reactions are surface area related. so fine powders and pulverized material is a bigger issue than chunks.

The problem is when this leachate leaves the highly acidic environment of the coal heap it tends to neutralize rapidly in the surrounding soils and deposit and concentrate the nasty instead of flushing it away.

While obviously an extreme example, The brew coming off the slurry settling ponds in appalachia mining is a pretty nasty mix.

I would be surprised if a small residential holding bin would present issues, but If I were going to grow edibles on it I would ante up for a full soil test to put my mind at ease.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:34PM
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i want those company Link that are Associated with Coal Mining And Coal Producers In Whatever Country...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:43AM
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You might also search or post on the soil forum here on

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 9:13AM
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