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Great work Paul, thanks! The only thing I might add is that I use crushed shell to keep the slugs and snails away from my plants--they don't like to cross it I've read.
Hey, I'd love to see an answer to this. Someone recently gave me a bag of floral foam. You know, the green stuff that you stick cut flowers into that holds water and keeps them fresh. I thought it might be just the thing to help hold water in a South Florida garden. However, as is my practice I researched it first. So...according to the data safety sheet it's inert after being formed, but there is some risk of dust irritation to skin and eyes--from the formaldehyde? I can't tell exactly.
So, inert is inert and it shouldn't leach anything nasty into the soil. But I can't tell if the formaldehyde used in it's manufacture is the source of the possible skin irritation and therefore present and possible to leach into the soil? And if it leaches into the soil, is it actually taken up by plants? I know house plants are recommended because they take help take formaldehyde and other unpleasant gasses out of the air. I came across this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10526968 which suggests plants USE formaldehyde in some way, but is it in a beneficial way and are those vegetables safe to eat?