Soil contamination can really put a damper on things, especially gardening. Whether you are gardening in the city or way out in the country, it is important to be aware of the risks of soil contamination. Even in the most rural of locations, soil can be contaminated. Here are few things about soil contamination to keep in mind when gardening:
- Know the history of the land you are gardening. This can give very important clues into whether or not the soil is contaminated, and whether or not your plants are healthy for human consumption.
- Plant health is not necessarily indicative of clean soil. While you may instinctively assume that because your plants are healthy and thriving, they must be safe, this is not always the case. Arsenic and lead, some of the most common soil contaminants, are not toxic to plants like they are to humans. Beware and don’t make this dangerous mistake.
- Create a raised bed to minimize exposure to contaminated soils. When designed properly, raised beds can prevent plant roots from coming into contact with contaminated soil.
When in doubt about the cleanliness of the soil, it is always best to err on the side of caution. To be certain, you may have a sample of the soil tested for quality.