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How to protect the garden from pollution: useful tips dedicated to those who grow their gardens on the balcony, in the city or in the heart of the urban environment.
Have you ever evaluated the conditions in which you grow your garden?
What if I told you that your garden is polluted?
Well, this is a hypothesis to consider especially if it is a vegetable garden on the balcony, a vegetable garden in the city or a vegetable garden grown in an urban environment.
Everyone happily imagines a small house in the countryside, with meadows, orchards and a large family-run vegetable garden… however no one leaves the city to move to the large green expanses! This is why those who cultivate a vegetable garden in the city must deal with the typical pollutants of this environment: fine dust, smog, heavy metals and pollutants hidden in the subsoil.
Polluted vegetable garden: urban vegetable garden and vegetable garden on the balcony in the city
It's not easy to keep the air and the ground under control. Human activities typical of urban environments cause the release of heavy metals such aslead, cadmium, mercury, nickel ...and many other pollutants in the form offine dust. When it comes to fine particles, we humans fear PM10 (for more information, you can read "what is PM10") While our garden is affected by much larger particles and therefore much more widespread in the atmosphere.
Thepowdersthey settle on the ground and penetrate underground through acid rain. From the soil, by cationic exchange, the fine particles are absorbed by the roots of the plants and become constituent parts of the vegetables and leaves we consume. In this case, washing the freshly harvested vegetables is useless and the pollutants enter our body through the daily diet.
Which gardens are at risk of fine dust pollution?
Fine particles can travel, on average, 50 - 60 meters from the point of release. This data is entirely indicative because there are several factors that can influence the diffusion of fine dust. Let's say, however, that generally avegetable garden on the balconyor better still, on the terrace, it should be “safe” even if it is in the heart of an urban environment. This is because fine particles tend not to rise much from the release point unless there is the action of the wind. A vegetable garden on the balcony will be all the more protected the higher it is placed above the street level but it will not be safe at all if there are chimneys or factory drains nearby.
An urban garden that is located at the level of a road used by motor vehicles, is not at all safe frompollutionindeed, the cultivated plants will most likely have absorbed pollutants.
How to protect the garden from pollution
If you have the choice, between balcony and terrace, choose to cultivate the vegetable garden on the highest floor, then on the terrace or roof of the house.
Any crop should have onewindbreak barriermade with a dense hedge, a perimeter moor, reed mats or other separating elements capable of stopping the wind.
Therewindbreak barrierdeflects the wind at a distance equal to 10 times its height. Forprotect the garden from pollutionit might be advisable to create a 180 cm high wind barrier.
It is not recommended to build a masonry barrier as there is minimal air circulation in thevegetable garden, it is necessary to combat the development of mold and other fungal diseases. This is why we recommend that you create a protectionVivawith a thick hedge or a wall of reeds. On the terrace of the house, making a hedge is difficult but not impossible and it is even easier to install a perimeter wall composed of dry reeds.
Those who have an urban garden in the open field can protect it from pollution with a thick wall of reeds. You might find the guide usefulhow to build a bamboo wall and the article "Urban Garden ... even on the terrace!"