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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: "Dr. H. Michael Simmons" simmonsm@bloomington.in.us
  • Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2003 22:32:09 -0500 (EST)

We put down a two-inch layer of pea gravel in the bottoms of our raised
beds, which are two feet four inches high.  Depending on the contaminants,
there may actually be more danger from dust blowing from contaminated soil
than from uptake through the soil of the raised beds.  As long as the soil
in the beds is clean, there should be no problem raising beets.

H. Michael Simmons
Bloomington Parks and Recreation
Bloomington, IN

On Fri, 18 Apr 2003, Amanda Maria Edmonds wrote:

> 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!
> Best,
> Amanda
> 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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