Should I dig out herbicide-laced soil?
We built new raised beds this year and filled them with truckfulls of purchase soil and compost. After much handwringing, hair pulling, and a few tears when I saw all my plants stunted, shriveling, dying, I determined through some different bioassays that herbicide contamination was the root of my problem.
Now I have to decide: dig out 3 beds and replace with new soil or try something else. I'm not worried about the cost as much as I am time and labor. I've seen some mention of using activated charcoal, but only in articles from 11yrs ago. Some articles suggest that nature alone will take care of it within a year, but other articles state it can remain several years. I don't want middling results, I want a healthy garden next year!
Does anyone have experience with successfully "healing" contaminated soil?
Just a sample of my results this summer: tomatoes, while stunted & bizarre looking, are producing a crop. Peas croaked. Cucumbers are barely surviving - I may get a few fruit. Onions are stunted ( although my first time growing, so that could be my error). Marigolds and dahlias have twisted, scorched leaves with few flowers. Thyme looks scorched. Peppers have had mixed success- some seemed to out grow the damage, others are stunted and not producing. Surprisingly, my lettuce and basil didn't seem
too bothered by it.