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Shallow Soil Nitrate Scavenger List

 
Posts: 33
Location: Urban, Zone:6b, Rainfall:49in
8
urban medical herbs ungarbage
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I am looking for some help in coming up with a list of nitrate scavengers and cover crops that would grow well in extremely shallow, but rich, soil 1–8 inches (about 2.5–20 cm) deep. The soil is set atop asphalt and around several compost bins that occasionally create an excess of leachate. This topic has been explored a bit in one of my recent threads that directly relates to an issue I am having, but I wanted to create a thread that compiles a list of species, something applicable in many other situations; you can read that thread here for context.

There is deeper soil to the rear of the bins, so I have much more flexibility in that area. I am interested in what can grow in the little soil that is more immediately surrounding the bins.

So far, it seems that mint plants and crimson clover might work well.

But what do you think? Do you think any combination of plants might work especially well?
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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I am not sure what leachate is or what problems it causes.  From reading your description and seeing the picture on the other thread. I would recommend considering Buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides.

It is very drought resistant and does not grow very tall. Where I live it is only about a 1/2 inch tall though I have heard in other parts of the country it gets 6 inches.

It spreads by runner and these runners need no dirt.

https://permies.com/t/93789/Love-Affair-Buffalograss-Buchloe-dactyloides

I hope others will chime in and tell you what works for them.
 
Joshua Tarantino
Posts: 33
Location: Urban, Zone:6b, Rainfall:49in
8
urban medical herbs ungarbage
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Anne Miller wrote:I am not sure what leachate is or what problems it causes.  From reading your description and seeing the picture on the other thread. I would recommend considering Buffalograss, Buchloe dactyloides.



Thank you for your suggestion Anne, and for the thread!

As I understand it, leachate is essentially any liquid that has moved through a solid and extracted, or leached, something out of it. In my case, there is leachate draining out the bottom of our compost bins and collecting in an uneven asphalt lot; because of its particular composition, the area has become smelly (an issue for our neighbors). To solve this, I have placed a combination of wood chips and other dry material around the bins, absorbing the leachate and creating soil as it breaks down. This is the soil I'd like to grow in, using plants that would continue to help with the absorption and mitigate the odors.
 
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