Country Detox: When the Garden Feels Fine

The summer season is ending. It's time to think about how to make your garden environmentally friendly. The process is slow, but the result will certainly please you. Read and learn what actions and gadgets will not leave in your vegetables and fruits nothing but vitamins.

Determine contaminated sites

So, you've decided that your country station is not just a vacation spot, but also a base for botanical experiments. But you do not like its soil and water for some reason. No matter you have purchased the land recently, or you want to put in order the family cottage. In any case, detox is necessary.

Чтобы дачный участок был экологически чистым, обычной уборки недостаточно

As the result of a careless use any plot may suffer, but still, there are areas of risk, which should be treated with caution. So, to be safe in the country you need to make a clean, if:

  • Your plot is near the highway. Heavy metals such as lead, and waste oil in the ground and water are not the most favorable environment for the flora.
  • There is an industrial enterprise near the garden. Even if the pipe does not smoke, fertilizing the land with volatile waste, toxins can get to you with ground water.
  • Your estate is near tha agricultural land. Chemical fertilizers sprayed on an industrial scale, will be brought either by the wind or by the groundwater.

Пока органическое земледелие остается уделом небольших хозяйств

  • Disposal of waste is poor. For example, shallow neighbor's septic tank is directly adjacent to your fence. Besides, you know that after washing dishes or showering the soapy water is drained directly to it.

The most reliable way to test for contamination of your site with heavy metals, phenol, mercury, petroleum products is to conduct sampling and to study them. As a result, you will receive detailed information about the soil condition and will be able to conclude whether you need to clean or not.

Contact your local state agrochemical service, you will really pay twice as less. In St. Petersburg, monitoring of soils is engaged in Leningrad interregional veterinary laboratory.

Заказать исследование почвы можно даже в лабораториях, где делают анализы крови

Please note: if you take samples yourself, then deliver the soil sampling should be not later than 5-6 hours, and during this time the earth is better to store in refrigerator. The soil should be taken in gloves, with steel or aluminum tools. Detailed instructions can be found on the websites of the laboratories, for example here.

Cleaning the soil

Self-cleaning of soils using the traditional «folk» remedies is not recommended – it is better to call the brigade. Soil cleaning methods are divided into three types:

Chemical. With the help of special acid or alkali solutions heavy metals and other harmful compounds are removed from the soil. The efficiency of this method is very high – 85-90%. It is difficult to clean a large volume of soil, but its good enough to clean up a small piece of land.

Physical. The easiest way is to remove the dirty top layer and replace it with clean. However, to find and bring to the site a large amount of fertile land can be difficult. The thermal method may become a great solution of the problem. The unit on wheels arrives at your site, and by heating up to 800 degrees removes all unnecessary substances from the soil. To restore fertility is simple by adding compost and fertilizers.

Метод очистки почвы с помощью грибов успешно прошел испытания в Финляндии

Biological. The most environmentally friendly, cheap and safe. The area is planted with certain species of plants which pull out pollutants from the soil. This method will not eliminate serious problems, like spilled barrel of fuel, but it will cope fine with little pollution. But you have to be patient. For the best cleaning you need to carry out the procedure several times, and waste material should be burnt and disposed long away from the garden.

Purifying water

Water gives life. But bad water with the same ease can take life away. What to do if the water in your area is not suitable neither for irrigation nor for technical use? Or there is a small pond, which bloomed and began to stink? Let's try to understand.

Эвтрофикация – следствие избытка азота и фосфора

If you make a kind of hit parade of hazardous substances, polluting water in the country, it will look like this:

  • Petroleum products. Gasoline, inappropriately leaking oil or fuel oil for boiler heating.
  • Residues of detergents and cosmetics. Usually they contain antibacterial ingredients that destroy beneficial microorganisms.

Антибактериальное мыло лучше не использовать, особенно – на даче

  • Microplastics. The scourge of modern civilization. Tiny pieces of plastic debris, paint or tires, emitting into the environment a whole set of toxins.
  • Mineral fertilizer. The reverse side of the country «medal». The nutrients included in the soil in excess, not dissolved in it, and accumulate in water, causing eutrophication – algal blooms and reducing oxygen levels.

To deal with these problems without special gadgets is simply impossible. The solution is to install a universal filter. It will purify the water from sulfur compounds, iron, heavy metals and other nasty things. After going through it, the whole country water will be at least suitable for safe irrigation and washing dishes.

Водный гиацинт широко применяется для очистки прудов и почвы

By the way, live gadgets for water purification can be found in useful plants, and microorganisms. For example, the green algae Chlorella that improves water clarity. And eyhorniya (water hyacinth) removes from ponds oil products, phenols, insecticides and heavy metals. But the most successful eutrophication fighter is the so-called biopowder. It's a squad of a dozen species of bacteria - superheroes, capable to rid the pond of mud, bad smell and saturate it with oxygen in a few weeks.

Maintaining the area clean

Well, detoxification of the beloved country plot has carried out successfully. On safe soil, there are green seedlings, watered regularly with clean water. Unfortunately, the environmental situation makes us think that this country idyll is not eternal. Let's think about how to keep your six acres eco-friendly as long as possible.

Каждый вид почв требует определенного ухода

If the land is clay – take care of the drainage, diluting the ground with peat, sand and humus. If it's sandy - do not forget to water in a timely manner, add the clay, mixing it with the same humus and peat.

Saturate the soil not only by water but also by air. The simplest device is the aerator. Attached to the shoe sole or cushion with sharp pegs will provide a stable access of oxygen to the plant roots.

Простейший аэратор поможет земле и корням растений «дышать»

Adjust the temperature of the earth. Not every plant likes warm soil. The advice is simple – if you want to warm the garden bed, sprinkle it with black earth. If you want to cool it – cover with straw.

Мульчирование соломой снижает температуру почвы

Watch the acidity of the soil. Notorious pH of 5.5 is ideal not only for human but also for plants. An acidic soil needs long time to dry, beneficial bacteria don't live in it and it accumulates heavy metals. The best way to achieve balance is conventional slaked lime.

And finally, remember that the soil must be «alive». If the above procedures were successful, the desired organisms would locate themselves in a favorable environment. To check this, bury in the garden a piece of filter paper and after a month and a half remove it. If the paper is almost decayed – you are on the right way!

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