Starting a vegetable garden over and old overgrown flower garden - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-24-2009, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried adding on to another thread but realized I should really start a new one.

The area where we want to build a veggie garden is on what used to be a flower bed. It's very over grown and has some old railroad ties around the edges. How much dirt will I have to be removed to get rid of the contamination from the old ties. Is it an issue? How do I keep the old plants from growing back. There are some freakishly persistant small trees in that bed.

We plan to build raised beds and fill them from our compost heap. I know that part of the plan needs research but the initial clearing is what has been keeping me from this project for years.

Any suggestions? My neighbors and I have lots of trees so this area is one of the few spots that I think will get enough sun.
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#2 of 5 Old 02-24-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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Do you know what kind of wood the railroad ties are made of? If they are redwood or cedar they were probably not treated with preservatives.
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#3 of 5 Old 02-24-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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It's likely got creosote, there's warnings all over about not using those for edible plants. 6" of so of dirt around it will be contaminated. But you're putting in raised beds there, so maybe you can just cover over it with a barrier between if you can add enough soil to sustain your plants' roots
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#4 of 5 Old 02-26-2009, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pretty sure they are creosote treated. That's just the sort of thing the guy who used to live here would do. I just don't see him springing for redwood or cedar.

What makes a good barrier?
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#5 of 5 Old 02-26-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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Several layers of newspaper might do, so you can allow drainage but be sure the plants don't tap into the lower soil. The toxins wouldn't be likely to move up I imagine, things wash down rather.
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