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contaminated soil? now what  RSS feed

 
danelle grower
Posts: 83
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I need help PLEASE!! Here is the story. Several yrs ago got top soil/compost for a front flower bed. Was told it's dark and very rich.NOT it was dark because it was saturated with oil and gas later found out it was scrapings off a lumber yard parking lot. Nothing grew duh. then put peat leaves grass clippings all kinds of stuff and tilled and tilled. Brought in some more top soil mixed in planted shrubs and they grew like crazy 8-9' in one summer.( Had to transplant them to big next to the house.)  Got more of the same soil to build a small veggie garden next to the front bed.  (5+ years have passed since the petro stupidity) That area was the only area that had any sun so seemed logical place to put a small garden. Things grew like crazy!!  Lit my gardening addiction again. 3 yrs ago logged 37 trees from around the house. Now we have sun. So took down the small veggie patch in front moved some of the soil to the back and side where I would put a much bigger garden.  Brought in more top soil and compost after tilling and tilling getting out the rocks. That took 2 summers to complete we have tons of rocks.  Bought a load of compost and soil added some peat and grass clipping any thing I could find. finally have 8- 12" deep of workable ground.  My husband went to the neighbors and brought in some soil they had in a pile.  When I went to look at the pile I had a nagging feeling look honey there are no weeds growing on this pile (no earth worms either) and it has been here for several years.  Come to find out they had been spraying round up & diesel on it to keep the weeds down.  Crap here we go again!! I am also thinking that the stuff I bought is not so good either since there are other spots we used it and not much is growing on it after three seasons!  Live in the Pacific Northwest lots and lots of rain Question is now what!??  How can I help undo what I have done.  I have noticed moles have moved in an there are a few worms tons of slugs so I am taking that as a good sign.  So yes I am a very slow learner NEVER EVER AGAIN will I bring stuff from the outside in.  It is so very important that I figure out how to help the soil heal. 1-we are on a well 2- the neighbors mentioned above have used several acres of our over the last 18 years for their horses and come to find out instead of pulling tansy diesel and roundup have been used who knows what else. Now that I am wanting to produce more of my own stuff have I totally just trash my 5 acres permanently? Please help in tears and just plain sick.
 
duane hennon
gardener
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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  paul stamets on mushrooms saving the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY

about 8 minutes into talk - how to deal with diesel, oil laden soil
 
danelle grower
Posts: 83
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thank you i knew i liked mushrooms for a reason. it boggles the mind with all he says. we have tons of different mushrooms growing in the pasture and on tree stumps. will have to put some in the garden area. so much better than digging up the soil and just moving the problem
 
Caleb Larson
Posts: 76
Location: Missoula,MT
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duane wrote:

  Paul Stamets on mushrooms saving the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY

about 8 minutes into talk - how to deal with diesel, oil laden soil


Great Link thanks for sharing.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfVQ-QpVyzw
Soil fertility with biochar + it acts as a filter throughout your soil profile.
Check this out.
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
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The biggest concern is the additives the put in fuels. Believe diesel is light on the additives. It does not last forever, and heard it can make some productive soil when you clean it up naturally.

be sure to thank the neighbor, thank the husband, and set some rules for bringing in foreign materials.
 
danelle grower
Posts: 83
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Some times seemingly bad things happen then turn out to be good in a strange package. 

#1This soil ordeal as I look at it and saw all the hard work and worry about the future gardens my husband is now so into fixing the problem. This has lit a garden / grow your own food fire under his feet.  Never before has he cared so much about gardening.  Always seemed to him why spend all that effort for a can of corn when you can just go to the store and spend the .50 cents.  It's not that way any more. 

#2We talk together learn together and even went to a home show that Paul Stamets had a booth at.  www.fungi.com  fungi perfecti LLC It was the best date we had been on in a long long time. We got info straight from the horses mouth books and even an indoor mushroom patch.  Growing like gang busters! That later will go into the garden.

#3 Now we have both agreed that we are not going to bring in any thing at all unless there is just no other way. We will be growing crops (not sure exactly what yet) just for mulch and compost. plus our trash can is consistently  emptier due to composting every single thing we can.   My husband even now wants to grow worms! I just can't believe it. 

#4The neighbors why it's been hard to deal with them they are my in-laws.  But now after everything my husband is ready to have a long talk with his dad. After 31 years of marriage you'd think I would have been able to get through to my father in-law. Just different coming from your son & that's ok.  In fact getting two people (husband and father in-law) to see a better way than just using chemicals for every thing was worth the problems I am having in my garden.

It is real close to planting time I did't start seeds indoors or the green house because I did not know where I would be growing this year.  So as soon as the daily rains stop I will no wait WE will till and double dig (I know I' not that big on tilling or digging either) all of the garden area together mixing the soil from the pathway and beds adding in all the compost we have and just plant it in some kind of cover crop just not sure what yet and then try to get some mushrooms in there.  Then bring in some worms and some leftovers from our burn pile.  Lord knows the soil has been washed very well with all this rain. So taking my cue from mother nature of patience and time.  It will be a wait and see thing.  Who knows it may turn out to be the best garden ever.  In the mean time I no WE  will just have to garden in another area for the time being.  I always wanted more space but doing all of that with just one person and no equipment well it has always been just to much. (Hubby is apprehensive with me an more power since the time I bought myself a chainsaw. Whats a girl to do I wanted a sliding glass door off the kitchen and his saw was to heavy for me to handle.  In hind sight he did have a point to wait until after the snow storm before you cut a huge hole in the side of the house. But in my defense how can you watch the beauty of the snow without a window? sorry babbling )     Now maybe I can get that tractor!!  The trouble I could get into heehee Thanks for all the info keep it coming

 
Mark Edwards
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Hello, newbie here.  I live in a country w very little govt regs or orientation on Round Up use and so it is abused as the easy fix for weeds.  I suspect my soil is contaminated.  The land we bought had been used for corn and was heavily soaked w glyphosate.  While digging fence post holes I found 0 earth worms.  In the past potato crops were pathetic.

My question:  How long does G. stay in the soil? What can be done to correct the soil in this case?
 
Jd Gonzalez
Posts: 215
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
13
forest garden greening the desert hunting trees
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Consider a mix of green cover crops sych as radishes, cow peas, buckwheat and such. Either chop and drop or let winter take care of the plants.Increasing biomass speeds microorganism and fungal activity that will help breakdown chemicals in the soil. Once the soil is carbon rich, life,including worms, will return.
 
Mark Edwards
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Jd Gonzalez wrote:Consider a mix of green cover crops sych as radishes, cow peas, buckwheat and such. Either chop and drop or let winter take care of the plants.Increasing biomass speeds microorganism and fungal activity that will help breakdown chemicals in the soil. Once the soil is carbon rich, life,including worms, will return.


Thanks for the reply.  So, could I mow some grass and dump the clippings on top of garden beds?  We are in dead of winter and I want to plant my garden by September.   By the way, Im in the southern hemisphere - way south. 

The charcoal thing sounds interesting but there seems to be a mix of opinion.  ..  And would that even help a glyphosate problem?
 
Mark Edwards
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Hmmmm?   Im concerned with Round Up / Glysophates, not petro dirivitives; howevr, this seemed practical and easier given the above statements and video  of P Stamets. Marco Banks posted on another thread: "The wood chips will help remediate any chemicals that have leached from those ties over the years.  Wood chips are the perfect medium to build fungal networks, and fungi bind and render inert all manor of harmful stuff.  I don't know the specifics of creosote leaching (or any other chemical common to railroad ties) but paul stamets has done (and continues to do) all sorts of research on mushroom remediation of brown-fields, hydrocarbons, and other toxic stuff found in soils.  You may want to look into his various products or just his research.  If you can innoculate the wood chips over the place where the ties used to sit, it might give you peace of mind knowing that the fungal community is busy cleaning things up for you and making your soil healthy."
 
Mark Edwards
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Unless there is valid evidence against this line of thinking, I'm going to go with this idea of fungi via wood chips to correct/heal contaminated soil.

Perhaps it's a good idea to post a link to the wood chip thread for others who might need help w similar problems. 
- http://www.permies.com/t/57702/mulch/girl-free-wood-chips
 
Jd Gonzalez
Posts: 215
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
13
forest garden greening the desert hunting trees
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By carbon I meant carbon dioxide. Carbon sequestration occurs when carbon dioxide is naturally captured from the atmosphere through biological, chemical, or physical processes. So yes, green cover crops, mowing clipping, wood chips, shredded leaves, chipped tree branches and shrubs will help bring life and decompose all that chemical yuck.
 
Nadine McKenzie
Posts: 13
Location: Old Fort, North Carolina, USA. Sandy Loam.
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Tradd Kotter also talks about myco-remediation using Oyster Mushrooms and King Stopharia. 

Oyster Mushrooms are not picky and can grow on cardboard and coffee grains.  They will digest petrol.

As long as your site doesn't have heavy metals, you can eat the Oyster mushrooms.  Be careful though, mushrooms are heavy metal accumulators so you'd want to be sure there are no heavy metals.
 
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