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I am clearing a field for an organic garden. Just discovered that it is hemlock that I have been clearing all day. I know not to burn it or compost it. But will it be ok to grow plants in the soil where the hemlock has been growing for years?



Yes, it should be, the toxins are in the plant and not the soil - all parts of the plant are poisonous, so your biggest risk is thinking that, when seedlings of it sprout, it's wild parsley or the top of some other edible plant. Viable seeds remain present in soil for up to 5 years, germination usually occurs in late spring to early summer, and again in autumn. Can be dug out, but develops a long white taproot which should also be removed intact. This assumes, by hemlock, you mean Conium maculatum.

12 Nov, 2011

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