What’s In Your Soil? The Results Are In.

Soil Kitchen
The results are in! Austin Resource Recovery has just released the testing results from the 2018 Soil Kitchen.

 

Each year Austin hosts the Soil Kitchen to help residents test for heavy metals and nutrients in their gardens and soils. If you participated in this year’s Soil Kitchen, you can find the personalized results from your soil here. Once you find your results, you can use them to build a healthier garden. Below are a collection of tips from Austin Resource Recovery and local garden shops.

If your soil contains heavy metals (like lead or arsenic), you can:

  • Build your garden on raised beds (to separate food crops from contaminated soil)
  • Plant your garden away from old painted buildings and from roads with heavy traffic
  • Place landscape fabric between old contaminated soil and new healthy soil
  • Mix 50 percent compost into your soil to dilute any contaminants

If your soil ends of having high levels of nitrates or phosphorus, Austin Resource Recovery warns that your garden might be polluting our local waterways. Nitrogen fertilizers are often added to lawns and gardens to help them grow better, but they are also easy to overuse. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus can then end up seeping into our waterways and killing off certain plants and fish, as well as contaminating our drinking water.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your use of nitrogen and phosphorus, check out the Natural Gardener’s website for a list of organic gardening tip sheets or give them a call at 512-288-6113. They’re happy to answer all of your garden-related questions! You can also check out Austin Resource Recovery’s gardening tip sheet here>>

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