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Soil Contamination

Q.Soil Infertility

Zone New York | ispedaleri added on April 18, 2024 | Answered

My mom told me that everything she’s ever planted in our soil, has died. Even a tree that we planted a few years ago is stunted in growth. So I decided to get our soil tested. Here are the results! Would you say the problem is from the lack of nitrogen and potassium? And if anyone has any recommendations for fertilizer that would be great! I am determined to rejuvenate this soil, as l’m looking to plant in the ground this year.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 18, 2024

I see issues with nitrogen and potassium, for sure. What I see, as well, is extraordinary amounts of zinc and copper. There are many causes for this. Spraying copper pesticides, fresh manures that have been used up, bird or other animals feeds in the soil, and overall contamination can contribute to this.

Unfortunately, your best bet is to find your nearest extension service. They can help you to take core samples, which will let you know how far down you must till in to dilute these metals. This is really the only solution, since it can take around 300 years to break down in the soil. Dilution becomes the only way, besides complete soil replacement.

Once you retest the soil after turnover, you can see what needs to be added, then. The results should be very different.

This article will give you some more information about your local extension services:


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