Garden Area – Sterilizing

Q: I have an area of my yard that is appx. 10’x10′ that my two small dogs have been using as a “potty” area for many years. I want to use this area for vegetable growing.

How can I best sterilize this area so that it is safe for food growing, and would I be able to use the area this coming growing season?

A: You can’t sterilize the area chemically but Nature will do most of the work for you. Dig up the spot now and expose the soil to sunshine, rain and cold temperatures. Repeat every four weeks until late April. You can plant your garden then, but for the first season concentrate on vegetables that do not contact the ground: tomatoes, beans, eggplant, etc. I’m not a doctor but I’d be comfortable eating vegetables from your garden if they were washed before cooking.

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