Growing basil is a good thing, but you need to be mindful of the chemicals that are often used in your garden to ensure the plant grows and thrives.
The American Heart Association recently issued guidelines on how to avoid pesticide contamination, but the rules do not apply to your own plants.
Here are five tips for your garden.
Don’t let any chemicals drift to your garden soil.
In a 2015 study published in the journal Applied Ecology, scientists from the University of California at Santa Cruz analyzed basil leaves and soil samples from six states.
They found that about 40 percent of the plants tested were contaminated with chemicals that could cause heart problems.
“Our results indicate that the prevalence of pesticide drift and the persistence of pesticides in the soil of these plants may be high in some of the states where the plants are grown,” the authors wrote.
Wash your hands after using chemicals.
Some chemicals have been shown to harm human health, including arsenic, cadmium, cadmat, chromium, and dioxins.
And while some chemicals have an effect on your health, not all chemicals can be toxic to your plants.
But chemicals can contaminate your soil or cause your plants to grow weak and die.
Wash any plants that are exposed to chemicals in the same way that you would any other plant.
“If you do not thoroughly wash your hands, you are not taking care of yourself,” says Stephanie Fuchs, a certified health care practitioner who teaches gardening and environmental health at the University at Albany.
“So, when you are dealing with toxic chemicals, you need a good sense of where they are and what you can do to avoid them.”
Keep an eye on your soil.
Even the best soil has a chemical signature, says Fuchs.
If you do use organic materials, you can be sure your soil is free of chemicals that can damage the soil or the plants.
“When you are using organic materials to fertilize your soil, your plants are very important to you,” she says.
“And, of course, when your soil does not have organic matter, it can have toxic chemicals.
So you have to pay attention to the soil.”
Don´t plant in soil that has been treated with pesticides.
This means your soil should be treated with chemicals such as permethrin, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, and sulfur.
These chemicals are known to cause health problems for people with cancer.
Be careful when growing basil.
In addition to chemical concerns, basil has a lot going for it.
“Breadcrumbs about the effects of chemical use on basil can be found on the USDA-APHIS website,” says Fuchus.
“You will find a lot of information about how to care for basil in your soil and to minimize the use of chemical fertilizers.”
So if you are considering planting basil in the garden, be sure to keep an eye out for the chemicals your garden plants are exposed too.
“There is a lot that we do not know,” says B.S. Johnson, a professor of environmental health sciences at the School of Public Health at the College of New Jersey.
“But there is definitely a lot we do know.”
How to prepare basil for your home garden: • Use organic materials such as mulch, soil, compost, and composted or composted leaf litter to help create the perfect soil for basil.
• Water and fertilize basil well before planting it.
The best way to get the plants to thrive is to provide them with the right nutrients.
• Check for disease problems such as leaf spot, plant loss, and root rot.
If the plant has disease problems, the best way is to give it some antibiotics.
• Don’t allow the soil to dry out because the nutrients in it can cause mold growth.
• When planting basil, be certain to water and fertilizing the soil well before you plant it.
If possible, make sure the soil is dry before you place it in the ground.
• Always allow the plant to be placed in a pot with plenty of light to avoid the possibility of mold growth from the light.
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The Washington Times