Urban gardening has raised a lot of concerns. This is mainly due to the close proximity to industrial areas, and the end effect is a dramatic increase in contaminated soils. Additionally, some urban gardening practices such as using processed minerals also boost the probability of soil contamination. But not to worry, you don't have to ditch your garden just because it's in the urban areas. Here are a number of things you can do to ensure that you garden safely and not ingest any contaminants.
Look for non-dusty vermiculite
If you use vermiculite in your gardening, then ensure it is labelled non-dusty before you purchase it. Dusty ones probably contain some inert matter that may have traces of asbestos fibres. Vermiculite is a mineral substance added to potting soil so as to improve its drainage, aeration and also add mineral content. However, about 80% material was from Libby till 1990 when the plant was shut after asbestos was found in it. There may be some asbestos in the vermiculite still.
Though the asbestos quantities may be now minimal, it's better to stay safe. Use vermiculite in the outdoors, and ensure the area is well ventilated to avoid inhaling the dust. A dust mask is also a good idea. You could also test the vermiculite for asbestos and call in asbestos removal services if the levels are too high.
Avoid direct ingestion of the soil
The soils in your garden may also contain other pollutants from industrial fumes or pesticides. You need to ensure that you properly wash your vegetables and fruits before eating them. This eliminates any minute portions of contaminated soil and makes the fruits safer for eating. If you've got poultry or any other animals, take measures to ensure they don't eat directly from the soil. Purchase poultry feed for them.
Also, ensure you change your clothes and wash your hands thoroughly after gardening.
Using compost is also a necessary practice for urban gardeners. Compost reduces the concentration of pollutants present in the soils and plants too. By increasing the volume of soil, the contaminants are greatly diluted, because there will be less contamination per square metre.
You could also add clean outside soil to reduce the concentration of these harmful pollutants. However, you need to test any incoming soil or compost before using it, because the soil may be more contaminated.
Install a fabric and top soil
If you've got the capital. Clean out your soil then install a fabric liner then add clean top soil. That way, you'll be sure your plants are not getting contaminated. A cheaper undertaking would be to simply install the fabric and add the soil.Share
26 January 2016
Hello. My name is Dean and this is my home and garden blog. Last year, I decided I needed to improve the look of my home. I visited several home and garden centres and various different shops but I just couldn't find the items I wanted. I had this dream of creating a really cool and funky look based on an African design I had seen. My friend suggested that I customise the items to create the look I wanted and began to give me some lessons. I really enjoyed the process and I learnt a lot about how to improve your home and garden.