Detox Contaminated Soil
Dirt Doctor Newsletter 2015
Detox for Contaminated Soil
Every year I get questions from new homeowners and victims of chemical lawn care companies about what can be done to decontaminate their properties. Here's an update on the detox program.
If your soil has been contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic and chromium in treated lumber or creosote in railroad ties, or with lead and arsenic from iron supplements, or if the contamination is from toxic pesticides like permethrin, MSMA, 2,4-D, Roundup, Sevin or petroleum spills, the solution is the same. No, digging the soil out and hauling it off is not the answer. That just moves the problem from point A to point B.
First, stop the contamination if it continues in any way. Second, apply fine textured humates or activated charcoal. Fine textured zeolite can be mixed with the carbon products or applied separately.
The next step is to spray and drench the problem area with Garrett Juice plus orange oil or D-Limonene at 2 ounces per gallon of mix. The carbon products (humates and charcoal) will tie up the contaminants; Garrett Juice and orange oil stimulate the microbes to feed on and breakdown the toxic molecules. Liquid molasses is in the Garrett Juice mix but adding additional molasses to the Garrett Juice mixture will help speed up the decontamination process. Adding a beneficial microbe product will speed up the process even more.
To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.
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P.S. Here is an overview about Organic Gardening.
The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service states in Using Activated Charcoal to Inactivate Agricultural Chemical Spills: “Activated charcoal is the universal adsorbing material for most pesticides.” Many golf courses use activated charcoal just for those unforeseen emergencies when fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, miticides and other disease control products are overused. Many agricultural growers use activated charcoal to decontaminate soils after heavy spraying of pesticides and fungicides, prior to reseeding. And many gardeners and homeowners use charcoal for localized soil contamination.
Question: Should plants be removed (asparagus) before treating with the soil detox. P.D., Grandbury.