Soil Problems

Motor Oil Spilled in Small Area of Garden

Anonymous added on July 29, 2011 | Answered

We had a small amount of motor oil that was spilled on a portion of our garden. It then rained and spread to a handful of plants. I've removed the plants that have been damaged and can see where the oil moved up to. My question is, is the whole garden ruined? Should I be removing all the plants and removing the soil?

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Answered on July 30, 2011

If those are vegetable plants, then yes remove and discard them. You may be able to salvage others. You can use dry kitty litter or check your auto parts store for oil absorbant litter. LIghtly spread that over the area and allow it to absorb as much of the oil as possible. Rake up and remove the litter, dig down and see if the oil has penetrated more deeply. At that point, I would recommend you dig it up, discard and add new non-contaminated soil to the area. Mix the new soil in and around those plants that were affected, that should help them recover.

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