in the soil
have moved into a new home. In one area the past tenants used the
corner as their coal bin so there is a lot of coal gravel in the
earth. Will this kill my new plants? This area is part shady and
I would like to use it to plant a fern garden. What can I do to
improve the earth in that area?
and coal by-products can be quite toxic to plants. There is also
the slim possibility of health risks from eating vegetables grown
on such soils. You would probably find that your new plants would
fail to thrive if planted in this coal gravel.
I do, however, have a
few suggestions. Could you sieve out most of the coal gravel? If
so, you could add compost to the area and hope that you have removed
enough of the coal gravel to allow your ferns to grow. An expensive
option is to remove the soil and replace it entirely. Otherwise
you could pave the area and grow your ferns in planter boxes or
in raised beds. Good luck!
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH