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Can I garden in old coal bed?

Posted by riverman1 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 10:41

Guys on my property is an area that for many years was used to store coal to heat the house. The area is maybe 15 feet long and 10 feet wide. I removed most of the large surface chunks but there is still a significant amount of smaller pieces. Coal may have been stored here for several decades, I don't know. My question is if I get most out then put in potting soil where I want to plant can I get anything to grow?



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I garden in old coal bed?

Don't see why not...i'd throw a bunch of mulch right over the top of it... Are we talking trees here or lettuce?

RE: Can I garden in old coal bed?

I was thinking berry plants, maybe raspberries, boysenberries

RE: Can I garden in old coal bed?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 12:57

I won't be afraid of coal at all. It's basically carbon. Highly compacted peat. Not really that different from the organic fraction in those highly fertile black soils in the Midwest.

RE: Can I garden in old coal bed?

All depends on where the coal came from. some coal develops relatively high levels of some heavy metals.

Additionally there can be minerals such as pyrite that when exposed to air and oxygen make for a pretty strong acid solution...leaching and mobilizing other contents. All of these reactions are surface area related. so fine powders and pulverized material is a bigger issue than chunks.

The problem is when this leachate leaves the highly acidic environment of the coal heap it tends to neutralize rapidly in the surrounding soils and deposit and concentrate the nasty instead of flushing it away.

While obviously an extreme example, The brew coming off the slurry settling ponds in appalachia mining is a pretty nasty mix.

I would be surprised if a small residential holding bin would present issues, but If I were going to grow edibles on it I would ante up for a full soil test to put my mind at ease.

Which Comapny are Associated with Coal Bussiness ?

i want those company Link that are Associated with Coal Mining And Coal Producers In Whatever Country...

RE: Can I garden in old coal bed?

You might also search or post on the soil forum here on

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