I recently removed a section of my asphalt driveway to make way for a
small garden. My plan was to remove about a foot or two of the very
poor looking dirt under the section of drivway and replace with
This dirt is mostly rocks, clay and sand, but contains small pieces of
asphalt and asphalt dust. I thought I might spread it over a section of
lawn that I was planning on turning into a raised bed. I would then
cover it with topsoil.
My question is, will this layer of "stuff" hurt the plants that will
grow above and though it? Could it hurt the rest of the world below it?
Is this a bad thing to do?
I wouldn't eat most stuff that goes into the garden soil (compost, manure,
loam, perlite, worms). The small amount of asphalt shouldn't be
harmful/toxic to your plants. Just add something to the soil so that it
doesn't become compacted.
What is the asphalt made of? I have no idea, but I wonder if
(e.g.) used motor oil is a constituent, or anything else rich
in metallic compounds? That could be an issue if the plan is
to grow vegetables above.
On the North Carolina coast - Zone 8a
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Asphalt is made from tar and rocks/sand. Tar is the left over stuff from
processing crude oil and coal, some tar is extracted from the ground as
well. If some asphalt gets mixed into the soil as you remove the driveway,
no harm done. There isn't anything inherently nutrient rich in asphalt that
would make me want to intentionally add it.
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