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soil with coal

soil with coal
Posted by Terri Daniel-Chumbley M.D. (chumbley1@charter.net) from ky on 2002-03-15 13:29:47

i have several areas in our yard that apparently were used by the previous owner to pile coal. Only bits of coal are apparent now but nothing includung grass will thrive . What do I need to do to the soil to correct it so that I can have grass or floweres?
  • Soil with coal
    Posted by Newt from Maryland zone 7 on 2002-03-31 17:01:52

    Quoting Terri Daniel-Chumbley M.D.: ------------
    -i have several areas in our yard that apparently were used by the previous owner to pile coal. Only bits of coal are apparent now but nothing includung grass will thrive . What do I need to do to the soil to correct it so that I can have grass or floweres?


    I found this to be a very interesting question and did a search on Google for "coal composition". Here is one of the links that I was given. Some important things here to think about as pertains to toxins and heavy metals in the coal that are probably in the soil now.

    http://p2.utep.edu/hubs/documents/electric_coalcomposition.htm

    I have three recommendations.

    First, I would suggest that you contact your local extension service. They might have some recommendations on what to do. I would think that you would have to sift the coal out of the soil, dispose of properly, again getting advice from the extension service. You would still be left with a lot of heavy metals in the soil. I definately would NOT grow any edibles in those areas.

    Second, I would post this question on The Garden Web. It's a WONDERFUL site with some very knowledgeable people. I am including a link to their main forums page. I would recommend that you post this on their 'Soil, Compost and Mulch' forum. I am including the link here.

    Third, I would have a soil test done to see what the current composition of the soil is. That will tell you what amendments you will need to add to the soil. I would not use one of the home kits, but would use the extension service to do a complete analysis.

    Good luck,
    Newt

    The Garden Web Forums

  • Coal in the soil
    Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b-MI on 2002-03-21 07:24:07

    While the presence of coal may be an indication of one of the problems its not the real problem. Start with a soil test that includes the level of humus, or organic matter, and work from there. But I'd bet the major problem is simply a lack of organic matter or possibly a really compacted soil that plant roots won't even try to move into, and organic matter will loosen that so they will.
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