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Re: gravel under raised beds as an extra protectant?

  • Subject: Re: [cg] gravel under raised beds as an extra protectant?
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 14:46:11 EDT


Depending on the nature and level of toxicity of your site, you may even want 
to cover it up and place containers on it in order to keep your plants, 
especially Detroit Dark Red Beets from sucking up the badness. 

Also, if you plan on having kids or pregnant ladies working on the site, 
there are other concerns, especially if there are heavy metal issues.  There 
are long discussions on this and other pollutant issues in the community 
garden archives accessible through the mallorn.com site. 

When your testing comes back, please let us and the friendly  mastergardeners 
as well as the agricultural extension  in your state know what is in your 
dirt so we can figure out how to best deal with your issues.  It may be as 
simple as raised beds with gravel - but it may mean enclosed containers or 
even a remediation of the site (an expensive option to be sure) that may be 

Good luck and keep us posted,
Adam Honigman

<< Subj:     [cg] gravel under raised beds as an extra protectant?
 Date:  4/18/03 1:54:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  aedmonds@umich.edu (Amanda Maria Edmonds)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
 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 Edmond >>

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