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5 ways contaminants sneak into your garden

Chemicals from your neighbor's garden can migate on the wind into yours.
Chemicals from your neighbor's garden can migate on the wind into yours. Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Listen up, organic gardening gurus. Is your garden a contaminant free zone? Don't be so sure of the answer. Pollutants and toxic chemicals are everywhere these days. What's more? They may sneak into your home and garden, despite your best efforts. Some you have no control over. Yes, you heard me. In some cases, you may be powerless to stop them. Still, using strictly organic methods can cut your risk. Here's 5 sneaky ways contaminants might make their way into your garden. Be watchful!

1. GMO's are in the wind

This may be one of those things you can do nothing about. Why? Well, you see, even if your seeds and plants are GMO free, your garden can fall victim to migrating pollen and pesticides on the wind. On the other hand, you can boycott genetically modified products to lessen demand. You can also vote for labeling GMO products to increase awareness in your community.

2. Bad neighbors

GMO growers aren't the only neighbors you should keep an eye on. How do your neighbors' gardens grow? Do they use pesticides and chemical fertilizers? If so, you may be one heavy rain away from contamination. Why not talk to your neighbors about using organic methods in the garden? It could benefit you both. Plus, it never hurts to get to know your neighbors.

3. Composted contaminants

Did you know your homemade compost could contain contaminants? You could be your garden’s own worst enemy. If you buy non-organic produce, keep it out of your compost. It could contain pesticide residue. Meat products should be banned from the compost pile too. What else? Never compost diseased plants. All these ingredients can render your compost toxic.

4. Rainwater pollution

Many organic gardeners use rain water to cut watering costs. It's a wonderful money saver. Unfortunately, sometimes the rain isn't so fresh. Consider using a filter on your rain barrel to clean water of airborne toxins. Don't assume tap water is safe, either. It's full of chlorine and other chemicals. So, if you love your garden, use those filters.

5. Toxic containers

It's a growing trend to plant produce in unique containers such as PVC pipe and rain gutters. Is it safe? Well, that depends on the container. When selecting containers, be sure you know what material and finish have been used on them. Otherwise, those sneaky contaminants could seep into your soil undetected.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.