Paint Thinner & mb Other in Soil

urbang4rdenerApril 9, 2010

So I live in a rented space and in the fall some guys who are redoing our house dumped paint thinner right into where we grow our vegetables. I've also seen paint chips in it as well. I told them to try not to do this, but now I don't know what to do. And who knows what else is in there.

Also, this is an old house at it makes me wonder what else has made it's way into our garden through out the years.

Any advice on what to do? I've heard Lupines can get a certain ingredient of paint thinner out of the ground, but really I'm just lost???

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Getting a really healthy soil biology is the answer to your problem. I would mulch the area with a layer of excellent, finished, compost and mulch over top of that with shredded bark. Then every week I would apply ordinary corn meal and/or flour over the area and wash that down with the hose end sprayer filled with molasses and milk 50/50 and set the sprayer on 3 ounces per gallon.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 6:25PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Welcome to common practices in the rental world. You can complain to the landlord but its not your property. You can expend time labor and money to remove and replace to correct, wait several years to leach the majority out, or spend money on containers.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 6:40PM
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What you are describing is a common problem encountered by landscapers working new construction. There will often be one or more spots around a building usually by a back, front or garage door where nothing will grow because workmen have tossed out 'whatever' during construction. Too much effort for them to walk a few more steps outside and put their leftovers in the about to be built driveway footprint. Been there. Dealt with the problem often. Speaking from years of experience don't fight the problem. Dig out the soil in the dumped paint thinner area and replace it. Nothing will grow in that spot for ten or more years despite any goodies added to the soil.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:45AM
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This and similar sites like this are excellent places to introduce the use of Mycorrhizae of the Endo type. The Mycorrhizae will bypass the bad spot and go where it has to go to find and deliver exactly the food and water your plants need. The Mycorrhizae webs have been seen many feet away from the host plant...out into yards and beyond.

I would plant that garden skipping by or over the bad spot. Secondly I would try to get some manure in there and more in the fall with your leaves. This summer try to at least to lightly mulch the garden. Next fall add more manure and leaves followed by a cover crop. You might be surprised how fast that spot overcomes it's illness.

If no manure try to use organic low number fertilizer like 4-2-4. Use some of both if possible. When the weeds start to show in that spot again then you can plant into it again as well.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:29AM
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Might want to read this thread and the links terran put at the end.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:26PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Thinking back to our remodeling, I'm pretty sure the painters cleaned their brushes in the grass out front. Other than turning the grass all the colors of the paints we used, it did not seem to bother anything. We had both latex and oil based paints in use. Now I wish I'd watched him closer.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 3:05PM
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