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Detox Contaminated Soil

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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.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

P.S. Here is an overview about Organic Gardening.

Here is some additional information:

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.

Answer:  No - the liquids in my detox program function as excellent root stimulators.

Question: Twenty years ago, I built some raised beds and used old crossties for borders. I was an organic gardener, but I was ignorant about the chemicals with which the crossties were treated. I quit gardening 10 years ago, fell from grace on organic, and used chemical fertilizers on the yard. Now, I want to garden again, so I have dug up the crossties and hauled them away. How can I decontaminate the garden site? R.B., Marshall

Answer: The best product for cleaning the soil is Biogize-SD, an activated charcoal product. Zeolite is the second-best. Follow the label directions for Biogize or hire an organic landscape contractor to apply it.



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