Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Urban Land and recognizing toxicity

Posts: 2
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am part of an urban community garden that is attempting to be a permaculture site. We have been told by the city that the land could be contaminated with toxins but it would cost thousands of dollars to test for each of those potential hazards. So, being a community initiative, we are unable to pay for such testing. The soil itself feels amazing and rich. It has incredible weed species growing like dandelion, burdock, clover, mallow, yarrow, grass and more. Does anyone know how to identify whether soil is toxic simply by the plants growing there?
Thanks a lot!
[Thumbnail for IMG_4341.jpg]
master pollinator
Posts: 11362
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't believe it will cost thousands of dollars for tests.  Costs seem to run $30 - 150 per test.  Lead is the most common urban toxin.  I think the city may be trying to discourage you from gardening.

Posts: 2483
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree about the tests. Also, I grow on an urban lot, tested for positive lead in two places. My solution is to plant trees and berries, my research indicates lead is taken up into leaves and roots but not the fruits and seeds.
For leaf and fruit crops, 18" of raised beds with new soil is plenty deep.
Lastly, I am adding wood chips and autumn leaves, as deep as possible.
It was am easy choice to simply avoid planting into my soil, as it contains the remains of a demolished house, and every shovelful of dirt is 75% urbanite rubble.
But you should test your soil in multiple places, and hopefully you can just plant into the ground as you please.
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lead especially is a cheap test, it is well worth it. Did the city way what it might have been contaminated with?
I've never won anything before. Not even a tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!