Question received for advice: Nov 2010
Subject: Gassing of Soil
State: North Carolina
My husband wants to gas our garden in February. I'm concerned about the chemical residue that may be left in the soil. How will this affect the plants? Our soil, now, is pretty organic, having only small amounts of Sevin dust on certain veggies. I need
some information on this. I don't want to eat chemicals in my veggies. Help and thanks. P.S.
Dirt Doctor reply:
Are you talking about methyl bromide or something like that? Sevin is one of the nastiest poisons left on the market. What's he trying to kill?
My husband, George is trying to kill nematodes and any other pests that might be lurking in our garden soil. I just asked him what they were going to use and he said methyl bromide. Is this as bad as Google says it is? I'm concerned about the produce we're going to eating after the garden is gassed. Do you have any suggestions as to what else could be use? George is adamant about gassing this garden, so, if he does, I'm going to have to plant my veggies in my flower beds.
Dirt Doctor reply:
Yes, it is as bad as you have read. It is a deadly product. Plus, the worst possible thing to do in gardening is to kill the life in the soil. That's exactly the opposite of what should be done. Everything we do to produce excellent plant growth, heavy production and great taste and nutrition revolves around building the life in the soil. Killing the life in the soil with neurotoxins creates a situation where the pathogens grow back first and more controls are needed. The natural organic approach is to protect and stimulate the beneficials in the soil and they will destroy the pathogens such as root knot nematodes, insect pests and diseases. Plus the fact - the organic approach saves money. Cutting the water bills by about 50% is just one of the cost savings.
Thanks so much for your input. I will print this out and show George and hope that he will listen to reason. I totally believe in everything organic. The first garden we ever had was my garden, and it was totally organic. It produced twice as much as George's garden across the street. He doesn't really believe in organics, but there's always hope. I really do appreciate your quick responses to my questions. Thanks again, P.S.