A recent post on Blue Matter, the Coldwell Banker blog, one of their contributors highlighted the importance of “knowing your soil” when you endeavor to do a little urban gardening. You never know what a previous owner may have had in their yard, or past events that may have altered your soil content. If you are one of the millions of people taking it upon themselves to attempt to grow some backyard produce, it’s really critical that you make sure you know what is in your soil to insure the health of your produce, and ultimately, you and your family! Here are some of Coldwell Banker’s tips for making sure your garden is healthy:
- Testing your soil is a MUST! Beyond lead, there are many other types of containments that could be in your soil. Contact your local cooperative extension to find out how and where to send a sampling of your soil for testing – you should be able to locate one with a quick Google search
- According to the University of Georgia Extension, vegetable gardens should be tested every one to two years.
- Always wear gloves when working in the garden to reduce exposure to anything lurking in your soil.
- Make sure raised beds are constructed out of safe materials and not treated lumber. Also be sure to install a bottom layer to further reduce exposure to ground soil (even if you think you’ve built the bed high enough).