Thursday, February 04, 2010

Urban Gardening


A little while back, Robb dug up a sampling of our garden soil and sent it to the University of Massachusetts for analysis. Now, this may seem a bit backwards, because I had already started germinating seedlings for my future vegetable garden. I'll admit it: I was in denial about all the paint chips that had fallen off our garage over the years. I had no particular plan about what to do if the tests revealed that our soil was contaminated with lead.

But as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Our soil's lead levels are remarkably low. We don't have toxic heavy metals in our soil.

Our garden soil is basic (as opposed to acidic), probably from years of dumping fireplace ashes out back.

We also have freakishly high levels of phosphorus and potassium, and "significant" levels of nitrogen. We have a good amount of organic material in the soil.

I no longer have to fret about planting a poisonous urban vegetable garden.


ArtGekko said...

Why UMass? Doesn't the UC system have an AG campus that would do this?

Glad to hear you have wonderful soil. Looking forward to gorgeous photos of flowers and fruit later this year! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like tomatoes are in your future! Tomatoes love all the ingredients you mention. But be warned, when I planted tomatoes in soil like yours years ago, the plants grew 11 FEET TALL. I ended up having to put everything on trellises to support them. Beans also will love your dirt.


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Why UMass? I have no idea.

They offered a good deal. They were really thorough. Robb found 'em on the internet.

And really, mailing dirt to Davis California is about the same as mailing it to wherever in Massachussets.


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