Somerville Garden Club

Lead in the soil – what to do?

A member recently was asking about what people in the club have done when they’ve found out they have high levels of lead in their soil. This article has a an interesting summary of some tactics: Much of the advice focuses on food production, but if young children or chickens who like to play in the dirt (who doesn’t?), you might be motivated to take some action.

Highlights from the article:

  • You can remove the contaminated soil with clean soil; this is an expensive option
  • Raised beds can be effective; use landscape fabric to separate the old soil from the new
  • Amending with LOTS of compost dilutes the soil, neutralizes the pH, and therefore makes the lead less “bioavailable”
  • Phytoremediation – growing plants that will pull out lead from the soil – may have moderate effect; may take many years

Interesting stuff!

And if you haven’t gotten a soil test, what are you waiting for?

You can order a soil test from Umass Amherst:

Other resources:

Comments are closed.