Garden – Possum Contamination?

Q: There’s an area in my yard where I planned to put a garden. However, a possum died in the place before I had the chance to plant anything. When I went to remove the body, it had already started to decompose. Would it be safe to plant watermelon, lettuce or root crops on the spot or in the area?

A: As long as you thoroughly stir the soil that was directly under the possum carcass into the surrounding soil, you should be okay to plant there. That is the same method nature uses to make manure safe.

However, if you want to be absolutely safe, just scoop up the soil you feel is contaminated and pitch it under a nearby shrub. Then be sure to wash anything you harvest.