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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Soil Contamination Toplef10Soil Contamination 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Soil Contamination I22gcj10Soil Contamination 14dhcg10

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Soil Contamination

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Post  santiagowells 2/13/2015, 6:10 pm

I was wondering if anyone had a study or any info to point to that speaks to soil contamination and raised beds.  We are trying to get a community garden going on an empty lot that had oil spilled on it once.  My understanding is that if we use raised SFG beds we don't have to worry about contamination but the owners of the lot (a university) wants some kind of proof or documentation.  The book just says you don't have to worry about it.  Any thoughts?  Thanks
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Post  camprn 2/13/2015, 6:14 pm

Have you tried the university itself for information?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  plantoid 2/13/2015, 6:28 pm

We have several threads the could sort the problem out ..  You'll need some pictures from the members to show them whats around .

Putting 6 inch deep trays 4 x 4 foot square on 24 to 30 inches of concrete blocks made into piers  set on the ground is the first that came to mind.
That should satisfy the no contact with polluted ground request.
 
 I myself have 36 inch high impervious brick built raised beds set on buried concrete foundations poured in over a 10 " deep bed of gravel . so that there is just about a square foot gravel filled hole down in the middle that leads down to the mother earth ..my beds are filled with our " Mel's Mix "  ( MM) compost .
They could have been 2/3 filled with sand instead & then topped with the MM . My crops do m=not grow in anything other than the MM the beds are filled with , water only gets in from the sky or a hose pipe #. My plant roots do not reach the contaminated ground soil.

 The soil here is very acidic blue coalmine sulphurous Welsh clay and it would have taken me years & years to get any ground level beds to grow long root crops like parsnips with thick 2 foot long roots (  Laughing ). Plus I've got spinal problems so bending tends to be right out the question for me .
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Post  walshevak 2/14/2015, 1:09 am

I agree with Plantoid.  One of the best things about SFGing is the ability to raise the entire growing medium completely above any contaminated ground.  It doesn't have to be really high, but if you have disabled or elderly folks gardening, tabletop height is a real bonus.  Another possibility is self watering beds.  I work with both.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t5716-experiment-to-deal-with-pure-sand-and-high-water-bills

Kay

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Post  sanderson 2/14/2015, 1:46 am

Try your local HazMat team, usually with the County.  They should have a file on the site and might help answer your questions.  Some chemicals will continue to volatilize.

And, welcome to the Forum! glad you\'re here

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Post  camprn 2/14/2015, 12:27 pm

I'm curious about the past source of the oil contamination and if there was any work done to remove it.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  PVPind 2/16/2015, 12:47 pm

Your question prompted me to do a little search. Just came up with this from the EPA. Also just started reading it. Have a look.


[url=http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/P100AV48.txt?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=2011 Thru]http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/P100AV48.txt?ZyActionD=ZyDocument&Client=EPA&Index=2011%20Thru%202015&Docs=&Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&Toc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QFieldDay=&UseQField=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery=&File=D%3A%5CZYFILES%5CINDEX%20DATA%5C11THRU15%5CTXT%5C00000001%5CP100AV48.txt&User=ANONYMOUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C-&MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=p%7Cf&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBack=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&MaximumPages=1&ZyEntry=2[/url]
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Post  PVPind 2/16/2015, 1:01 pm

I'd say the EPA is completely on your side. All in all if done properly it's beneficial to the land. Here's another link about land farming. Pretty interesting.

EPA landfarming
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Post  walshevak 2/17/2015, 7:46 pm

BTW    glad you\'re here Santiagowells.  We are glad you joined us.  As you can tell we jump right in and try to help even before we do the polite thing.

Kay

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Post  AtlantaMarie 2/18/2015, 3:14 pm

walshevak wrote:BTW    glad you\'re here Santiagowells.  We are glad you joined us.  As you can tell we jump right in and try to help even before we do the polite thing.

Kay

+1!  And welcome!
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