Do you test soil for pesticides, insecticides and herbicides?

Asked May 5, 2016, 7:22 AM EDT

I want to plant an organic vegetable garden and would like to know what contaminants are in my soil. I live next to a golf course.

Wayne County Michigan

3 Responses

The MSU Soil Test Self-Mailer is for nutrients, soil pH, soil type, organic matter content and you get a recommendation.

You would have to contact a private lab for specialized testing for insecticides and herbicides. Each test has a cost and you have to be specific about what you request. There are no broad-spectrum testing. But depending on the period of time, even if there were things there at one time, it is doubtful they remain. But you have to come up with a list. It is possible to spend more on testing than the value of any vegetables grown so it is important to limit your choices.

Unless your garden is right on the fence line with the golf course, there should not have ever been any drift from them. It seems likely that if it was herbicides, you would have been aware of this if you had broadleaf plants suddenly drop dead. Put your garden as far away from the fence line between you and the golf course for your peace of mind.

Thank you

You are very welcome. The worry living next to a golf course has probably sensitized you a problem that may not be there.