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Environmental Problems

Q.asphalt leaching into garden soil/contamination or not?

Zone zone 5 | sherrich added on September 11, 2017 | Answered


I am a member of a community garden and have a small plot about 20 feet by 6 feet. The city recently paved the length of my garden, just outside the fence – and the pavement or asphalt runs right along my soil for about 20 feet. Do you think that with water run off, etc, the soil of my garden would be in any way contaminated by the new asphalt they just put down? It smells strongly of tar, but I am not sure that means the garden would be contaminated in any way. Before I planted my garlic for the winter I wanted to be sure. Thank you

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 11, 2017

I do not suspect this to be a big issue. Although there can be some contamination, the grasses in the area are well adapted to taking up and storing toxins in their roots. leaving the ground water suitable for crops. If you are concerned still, then you can apply activated carbon and dolomitic lime to the soil. Carbon will help soak up contaminants, while the Dolomite lime will help keep the pH levels where they should be.

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