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Anyone have a suggestion for an old man?


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Old 08-02-2009, 03:48 PM
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Default Anyone have a suggestion for an old man?

On a job that I am doing, there is an area in the front of the house that nothing will go in. While I was talking to the new owner, a neighbor came over and told us that he doubted getting anything to grow there was not going to happen.

The previous owner was a Clorox fiend. She washed everything with Clorox and was afraid putting it down the drain would harm her septic system so she would just dump it over the railing of the front porch. She did this for years.

Their is a wheelchair ramp blocking access to the area so removing the dirt there and replacing it with good soil will be a by hand job.

Any suggestions? At 60, I think it would be too much.

Steve
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:51 PM
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I'd love to see a picture of that.

That is a great question.

How big of an area is it affecting?
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:50 PM
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I'd love to see a picture of that.

That is a great question.

How big of an area is it affecting?
I would have to remove about 5' x 6' and I have no Idea how deep.

There is no way I can get a backhoe or other mechanical means to it. I would have to shovel the dirt into a wheel barrow on tne ramp and move it out and then reverse the procedure to put new soil back.

To make things worse, it's my oldest son's mother-in-law so it will be a freeby.

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Old 08-02-2009, 06:11 PM
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It would be fascinating to take a soil sample of it and then see if there was any chance of adding any other kind of chemical/fert that could neutralize the damage.

Otherwise maybe mulch it over or stone it over

Here is the hazmat sheet on the product and it tells you how to neutralize it. I am no chemist but maybe this could help? Or maybe just running a lot of water on it could help dilute it?
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:22 PM
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Clorox is a base so it probably has the pH level pretty high. Fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate and/or sulfur-coated urea will lower the pH of the soil.
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:33 PM
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Default Liquid Sulfur

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Clorox is a base so it probably has the pH level pretty high. Fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate and/or sulfur-coated urea will lower the pH of the soil.
I already tried liquid lawn sulfur and Nature's Magic. Nature's Magic is supposed to detoxify soil. But, I'm afraid I am still going to have to dig it up.

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Old 08-02-2009, 06:42 PM
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I already tried liquid lawn sulfur and Nature's Magic. Nature's Magic is supposed to detoxify soil. But, I'm afraid I am still going to have to dig it up.
How long ago? When you raise pH using lime it takes quite a while for the pH to change.

I'd also do a soil analysis. I don't know what they cost where you are but here they are $9 + the cost of shipping the soil (usually $3-4). I get them from my county extension office. You may have barely put a dent in the level of alkalinity and just may need a stronger application. The analysis will tell you, down to the pound, how much is needed to change the pH.

Of course, as you say, you may just need to replace it in the end but I sure wouldn't do it as a freebie get your oldest son out there to do the heavy work.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:16 PM
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How long ago? When you raise pH using lime it takes quite a while for the pH to change.

I'd also do a soil analysis. I don't know what they cost where you are but here they are $9 + the cost of shipping the soil (usually $3-4). I get them from my county extension office. You may have barely put a dent in the level of alkalinity and just may need a stronger application. The analysis will tell you, down to the pound, how much is needed to change the pH.

Of course, as you say, you may just need to replace it in the end but I sure wouldn't do it as a freebie get your oldest son out there to do the heavy work.
I do my own soil testing. (NPK), plus I have a pH and Nitrogen meter, a Brix analyze, and a moisture content meter.

pH was 4.0 up now to 4.5 after 2 treatments one week apart. Soil is white, down at least 3 feet.

My son is in Iraq, not seheduled home until November. Father in law is in a wheelchair so I am all that's left except my wife and somehow, I don't see her shoveling!

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:22 PM
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... My son is in Iraq, not seheduled home until November. ...
Tell him I thank him for his service and thanks to you, too.

Sounds like the soil is dead and possibly toxic. Can you hire a neighborhood kid to help with the heavy work?

Those pH numbers sound off. Acidifying the soil should lower the pH.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:53 PM
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Tell him I thank him for his service and thanks to you, too.

Sounds like the soil is dead and possibly toxic. Can you hire a neighborhood kid to help with the heavy work?

Those pH numbers sound off. Acidifying the soil should lower the pH.
I have the numbers backwords. It's been a long day.

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