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Jun 15, 2010 07:02 PM

Is rust bad for soil?

I've been thinking, my dad likes to bury junk and so did the people living in the house decades ago. Is rust bad for my garden? My dad buried rusty pipes inside the raised garden beds in order to support the boards. My dad also put rusty pipes around the outside of the beds too. I'm not sure what the metal is, I'm assuming lead or iron.

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  1. Rust is not in itself dangerous or harmful to plant life. It will after quite some years break down into a form of usable iron for the plants.

    What the iron is from is more important. Never put iron which has had contact with oils or solvents into the soil, it will contaminate the soil.

    LEAD: NO!
    You can get test strips at the hardware store to test the metal if you're not sure.

    Old iron water pipes should be fine to use as your dad did.