Sunflowers . .. maybe!

11 May

snipped sunflower seed pack picI and a few kids planted sunflowers seeds along the fence next to the slide a couple of weekends ago (on Sunday, April 21).  The seeds were pretty old, but a few seem to have made it — I’ve seen 3 coming up so far and I heard one successful seedling was transplanted yesterday.  Try not to stomp on them!

Not only would they create a pretty visual wall between the slide and the parking lot if they grow — they can get 7 to 10 feet tall! — but they may help our soil.  The New York Times had an article last year about a garden up in the Bronx — La Finca del Sur — that is experimenting with using sunflowers to pull heavy metal contaminants like mercury and lead from their garden’s polluted soil.  Our soil has somewhat elevated lead levels based on tests (see results below) some parents had done on soil in what is now the slide area  and the shady strip between the sidewalk and 230 Jay Street by a program at Brooklyn College a few years back).  This is why we try to keep the soil covered with grass or mulch, and why we want to make sure we don’t throw soil from the ground into our vegetable beds.  We tested the soil in our vegetable beds again, and the lead level hasn’t changed much from last year, though some others have  (our contact at Brooklyn College soil testing program says the changes aren’t worrisome):

Learn more about the soil test results here.

See play area soil test results from 2011 below:

We’ll be transplanting and spreading any mulch we have on Sunday afternoon — all those tomato and cucumber seedlings that are growing out of their pots . . . though unfortunately not in my apartment . . . The snap peas, lettuces, and radishes outside are really growing!

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5 Responses to “Sunflowers . .. maybe!”

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  1. Heavy Metals, Soil + Kid’s Brains | Concord Village EarthLab - May 11, 2013

    […] dedicating this week’s to Ansley:  The steward of our soil! Click here to read more about heavy metal pollution.  Thanks! […]

  2. Budget Planning for 2013 Garden | Concord Village EarthLab - May 29, 2013

    […] Thankfully, most of the overall expense (@ $5000.) was for start-up costs. We expect future annual costs to be much lower. Still, maintenance expenses are significant. It will take about $500. to fill the four raised beds (around 90 ft3 total) that need to be replenished this year in order to maintain safe soil quality. […]

  3. What it means to be a member . . . | Concord Village EarthLab - April 24, 2014

    […] to refill our 4 older raised beds with new soil (and make 2 of them sub-irrigated) to maintain safe soil quality.  We also expanded our garden with a new bed we received through a grant we won.  And we will be […]

  4. Fundraiser Sat 6.21: Join Us To Celebrate The New Garden Season! | Concord Village EarthLab - June 2, 2014

    […] more than 60 cubic feet of new, clean soil for our planters […]

  5. Fundraiser Tonight, 5pm-7pm | Concord Village EarthLab - June 21, 2014

    […] more than 60 cubic feet of new, clean soil for our planters […]

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