There’s so much to think about when you’re first starting a garden ☘️- what type of plants, how much light your plot gets, how to set up a watering system.
But you might also want to consider what’s in your soil ! Turns out, soil in older neighborhoods tend to contain higher levels of lead since those houses were built before the ban of lead paint in 1978. But don’t worry, here are a few easy solutions!
1) Get your soil tested if you can. Testing generally costs between $10-20 and this is good not only to test for toxic compounds, but can help you know which crops to grow or how to amend your soil.
2) Bring in new safe topsoil and create raised beds – 6 to 12 inches of additional topsoil is recommended.
3) If you’re not sure, stay away from growing root vegetables and leafy greens as they absorb heavy metals more easily through the soil. Try tomatoes, zucchini and beans.
4) Double or even triple wash all your produce before using to make sure all the yucky particulate matter and heavy metals in the soil are rinsed out.
5) Don’t forget to wash your hands after working in the garden! This will make sure that you don’t ingest any contaminated soil when you’re enjoying your fresh grown veggies.