New to raised bed gardening, worried about chemicals in the soil

ardisMarch 28, 2009

I am planning on constructing a raised bed in my backyard for some summer vegetables. I have done a raised bed before, but it was not under soil that had previously been treated by a chem lawn service. Of course, I am planning on adding organic soil to the bed, but am worried about drainage from other areas in the yard and chemicals that are currently in the soil where I would be placing the raised bed. Has anyone else dealt with this problem?

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

I had dead, weed infested soil where I built my raised beds last year. I got as many of the weeds as I could out. Then I put down landscape fabric. Finally I added 3 inches of gravel under my beds. That's serious protection. Unfortunately no worms are in my beds. But few weeds either.

Good luck and enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:55AM
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Some questions... How long has it been since the yard was treated? Do you know or can you find out what was used? If in doubt, you might consider container gardening this year and leaving off the lawn treatment for the year. Then by next year the soil microbes would have had time to reduce any hazard from the chemicals.

This is JMHO with no scientific backing. I try to err on the side of caution when it comes to chemicals and other types of contamination in my veggies. I know that what I buy in the stores is not chemical free (I refuse to pay the price for organic veggies) but what I grow I try to make as nature intended, or as close as I can get with a reasonable amount of effort.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:35AM
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To answer your questions... I am not sure what was used on the lawn, but I guess I could call the local chem lawn service and find out. The yard has been recently treated, but I wasn't sure that even a year would be okay. I was also thinking about composte. If I use grass clippings and leaves in my composte that have been on the yard, I am still getting the chemicals. This is quite frustrating. I was thinking of just pruchasing some plastic kid swimming pools to use as "raised beds", and starting an "organic" mulch pile. This would take care of the chemical problem. Has anyone tried gardening in those plastic pools??? Then again I am sure the chemicals in my yard are no worse than the chemicals on the food I buy in the grocery store... Decisions, Decisions...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:00PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

A dollar to doughnuts you had a spring pre-emergent applied which prevents germination of crab grass seeds.

Halts, AKA preM is pendamethalin
Dimension is dithiopyr

Either are commonly used.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:24AM
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