We were blessed with great weather this week so we're tearing up some yard to make room for a garden. We just bought the house this past summer and know that the yard has been chemically treated within the last year. We're not sure with what though beyond herbicides and pesticides. The original plan (before I remembered about the treatments) was to turn the sod and let it compost before planting in spring but now we're thinking that's maybe not such a great idea? I read something somewhere about having to wait 2 years before planting edible crops in treated soil, does that sound right? But for some reason I'm thinking that would just result in poor quality plants, not hazardous ones? I could most definitely be wrong though. Any recommendations for how much (if any) soil we need to remove/what to do about prepping for a spring planting? Except for some pot gardening I did when I lived in an apartment, DP and I are both total newbies, any help would be greatly appreciated!
It probably will be a little better than conventionally grown crops if you just work with what you have and do organic from here on. Yeah it's poisoned but so is most of what is in the grocery store. You could make a raised bed or lasagna garden if you are really concerned though, build new beds above it and not even use your dirt. Anyway you'll need to get a good deal of compost/composted manure to feed the soil and add organic matter. Also to get good loose soil on a day when the soil is mostly dry you'll want to dig a foot down to loosen it, move that topsoil out of the way, and loosen another foot deep under that then cover it back up with the topsoil, that's double digging.
I agree with the above post - I think a raised bed is the best idea than taking a risk. Yeah, you could wait it out, or plant anyway, but if you're really concerned, and I don't blame you if you are, a raised bed would be perfect, so long as you know approximately what you're going to plant and how far the plants will reach.
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