What can you tell me about high nitrate soil?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Leah IL, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Ok, let me try to explain this. We moved here last fall. The land we own has been either a corn or soybean field for the last 50 years. Needless to say, the former owner was not organically minded :rolleyes: As a matter of fact, due to mass crop fertilization, our well water has a slightly high nitrate content. So we buy our water at the store for now until we can dig a new, deeper well or put in some kind of reverse osmosis system.

    Anyway, we put our garden out there where the corn and soybeans used to grow. I was doing some research on lambsquarters, which is popping up abundantly in and around the garden, and I found a warning not to consume it where nitrate levels may be high because it tends to concentrate in that type of plant. Does anyone know anything more about this? Do I need to worry about all of my vegetables becoming contaminated by nitrates? I don't even know where to start researching all of this. There is a radio program on today where a horticulturist from our area answers call in questions, so I might give him a try. Maybe the extension office. Also, do you know if there is a way to reverse the damage to my soil?

    This just makes me sick. I hate that the answer to every farming problem is to just spray everything with who knows what. To make matters worse, we have to sit here and inhale the pesticides they are all spraying on their fields all around here. What's the point of trying to raise my vegetables without all of that if it's blowing around in the air? I understand that farmers need to make a living and that they are just doing what works, but at what cost? Well, that's all, just had to rant and rave for a minute :) I appreciate your input.

    Leah
     
  2. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would start with your County Extension Agent. I don't know what I would do without him. Hope that helps.
     

  3. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    Talk to your Ag Agent and get the soil tested. Any crop that stores a high water content, such as melons, green leafy, tomatoes etc. I would wonder if they had nitrates in them. You got your water tested so get the soil tested.

    The organic gardening book I have, Rodale Press, 1978 has quite a few pages on how they hate chemical fertilizers. It is too lengthy to quote here. If you PM me I'll transcribe it for you.

    What they do say is that there have been extensive studies regarding chemical fertilizers and it leeching nitrates into water tables. Death, toxicity, and cancer in animals, altering vitamin content in plants, degrading soil quality, etc. etc.
     
  4. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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