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gravel under raised beds as an extra protectant?

  • Subject: [cg] gravel under raised beds as an extra protectant?
  • From: Amanda Maria Edmonds aedmonds@umich.edu
  • Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 13:56:44 -0400

Happy spring!

We're building a new set of gardens in a contaminated site next to a historic freight house (which houses our local farmer's market and many community events), adjacent to working RR tracks... I'm waiting for soil test results, but presume they'll be super icky. That said, we've planned on doing raised beds, and we're trying to decide if we should put a layer of peat gravel or another material down BEFORE adding the clean soil, just as another layer of protection. I'm a fan of the newspaper/cardboard method for a bottom layer (as opposed to landscape fabric), but want to do all that we can to reduce risk.

Any suggestions of other materials to layer before putting the new soil down, and how deep?
Also, the literature says no leafy greens or root veggies since they're more likely to take up lead or have soil particles on them-- any opinions on exceptions to this if they're entirely in raised beds? We love our Detroit Dark Red beets in these parts!


Amanda Maria Edmonds


"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
"To forget to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."
- Mahatma Ghandi

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