I have a new plot in a community garden (http://www.fenwayvictorygardens.com) and this will be my first full season. Last fall I put together 6 raised beds and had a short season. I'm starting my seeds now for the new season. I have a few questions from those of you who have used organic techniques.
1) Are the plastic seed starting trays safe for organic starts or do they leach chemicals into the soil?
I have been gardening organically for years and using plastic trays (and plastic pots) to start seeds and have not felt concerned about any leaching. But I don't think I would use a garbage can for a composter. The plastic seems to be softer than the plastic they use for composters, and from what I have read, the softer plastics can be more likely to leach. 'Course, that would be more likely with heat.
Paracelsus: Thanks for your note of experience. I am particularly trying to be BPA and PVC free. I may have to invest in one of the metal cans. I don't want to have spent so much in organic seeds, soil, etc and then ruin it with "tainted" homemade compost or plastic seedling pots. I just don't know how much of an influence the plastic will have on the final product.
Honeybee: I also worried about the hoses. I get my water through the municipal system serving the community gardens. Boston has excellent water but the system carrying the water to the individual plots are PVC based. I attached hoses made for drinking water (RV hoses) so at least the hoses being out in the sunshine wouldn't add to the problem. I also will use collected rainwater as much as possible for watering the plants but whose to say the chemicals in rainwater are less than what comes from the pipes?
I truly want to minimize endocrine disrupters from plastics as much as possible but there is a point where you can't control all the variables.
I never even gave it a thought. I have one of those smaller garbage cans that has two wheels. I fill it about 1/2 way and in the Las Vegas heat is it soup in a matter of days. Then I just dig a big hole and pour in my scraps. But I do chop them up before they go into the container. I have never given it a thought about the plastic leaching.
I guess I will have to study this in more detail. Sharon.
I recently asked a similar question to a garden store employee, and got the ("Well everyone in the valley is doing it (irrigating with a drip/soaker system). If it were bad for you, they wouldn't be able to sell it.") response. Ha! once upon a time lead pipes were the standard. And I can still buy cigarettes.
I am in the middle of transforming a dead lawn into a livable, back yard/garden. I have read the warnings on garden hoses that say they contain Lead, and was wondering if PVC and drip tubing (1/2" & 1/4") systems were safe. I have also read that recycled tire mulches do leach chemicals into ground, so have decided against a soaker hose ("made of 50% recycled rubber" with a picture of a tire).
Currently, I water landscape plants with a conventional garden hose till the water is cool, then flood irrigate the garden. I just don't want to put water on my garden thats been sitting in the hose in the hot sun. I'll be happy once it's dialed in and I'm using less water.
Has anyone brought this up in the organic gardening forum?