backyard is rock – REGENERATIVE.com

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Mardy 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #39229

    Brittany
    Participant

    the land my house is on used to be a site for an oil rig and after they pulled it out and decided to build properties on it they put a ton of rock down. Even if I were to get rid of the rock is there any way to save the soil, or is it just a better idea to build indoor or elevated gardens?

    #39235

    trisha
    Participant

    Wow! I sometimes say my yard is rock, but we do have some dirt 🙂

    I got tired of trying to dig up rocks really fast and so I just put raised beds right over the top–but, I have rocky soil, not rock only.

    There is a spot where I put a raised bed right over gravel/sand that had been compacted for the construction of the house. My brother-in-law told me it wouldn’t work–so far, he’s been wrong–the bed is fairly deep because I wanted grape vines.

    I’ve also read of people doing lasagna beds and raised beds right on concrete. I’m not sure how it would work being totally isolated form outside soil–could earthworms get in? Small plants should grow there.

    And on a pile of rocks just outside our property, there are actually a few grasses, brambles and one oak starting to take hold. What about making pockets in the rock for certain types of plants to grow?

    #46775

    David
    Participant

    I’ve found charts online that show shallow rooted plants as well as medium & deep rooted ones.

    #47254

    elizabeth
    Participant

    My garden is all raised beds on rock shield.. Make sure you mulch.. Chop and drop is awesome.. And hugelkultures rock! Build up the bio mass with logs, branches, composts and soil.. You can build them on contour with swales or to stop the prevalent wind.

    #51386

    dcowick
    Participant

    Wow! Was it a drill site with a burn pit and all? Is there still a well head, and did they give mineral rights with the sale or can they over drill on the site anytime they please?

    The encouraging news is that oil spills are dug up and sent to soil farms all the time, and the end product is compost. I do not claim to know the whole process, but I once heard a farmer state that he would rather have a barrel of oil spilled on his land than a barrel of salt water, because the oil would be fertilizer in a year, while the salt water contamination might last for 100 years. Not that simple I’m certain, yet encouraging.

    I would grow everything in raised beds, or containers, or anything with a barrier until I had the sight checked out for contamination. Next would depend on the results. Maybe there is a report listing all events (they are required to report any spills over a small amount)if the oil company will share the proprietary information with you or regulatory agents received the reports (public info). The older the site, the less info was generated. I worked in a refinery and we took soil samples all the time and drilled inspection wells where ever known potential contamination might exist (e.g. at previous storage tank sites, where gas tanks ever existed, at loading docks for tankers filling product,etc.). So there may be a record you can lay your hands on. Hopefully it was a dry well and they used the land for a field site.

    #51389

    dcowick
    Participant

    Brittany,

    I found this permaculture link on a tree that can bring profit as well as being a useful land regenerator. http://www.permaship.org/Home/permaculture-concepts/paulownia-overview

    #51410

    Mardy
    Participant

    I rent an appartment, I share the back yard with all the other tenants. The/ground is full of rock. I have small yard at the back/side so I took ground cloth and covered the bott and sides of a palette and filled it wih soil and planted leaf lettuce, green onions, radishes, green beans and peas. I have a grpe tomato in a patio planter. In the back corner of the yard I filled an old tire with sheep manure and soil and planted cucumbers and pumpkins.

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