View Full Version : Plastics and growing edible plants
06-03-2008, 05:15 PM
I was considering doing container planting. I've grown plants in five gallon plastic buckets before, but don't know the possible leaching of chemicals into the soil and then of course, into the plants. Anyone have any info?
As well, I was thinking of growing on a larger scale in a more efficient manner. Would growing plants in plastic raingutters leach more chemicals (I am assuming plastic gutters are the same plastic as in the five gallon bucket, but this is an assumption, please correct me if I am wrong) into the plants or am I worrying over nothing?
Thanks for your help!
ETA: NASA shows models of growing methods in plastic rain gutters, but they don't mention eating said plants.
06-04-2008, 07:56 AM
Restaurant and deli bulk food is shipped and stored in 5 gallon containers. Don't use containers that had poisons and you're alright. If you're worried about a few molecules of chemicals leaching from plastic breaking down, then you had better worry about the traces of everything else in the soil. I'm not saying you're that picky though. Don't forget drain holes.
06-04-2008, 09:12 AM
Note - those 5 gallon containers restaurants use are labeled "food safe". Find yourself some that are labeled thus.
06-04-2008, 09:30 AM
Look for buckets that are "NSF-Listed" as food-safe. An example are these Rubbermaid Brute (http://www.chdist.com/facility-maintenance-products/janitorial-equipment-supplies/d-1869-2746-493) containers. They're ostensibly trash cans, but frequently used for food storage and transport. Here is some info (http://www.rubbermaidfoodservice.com/sc-faq.jsp) from the Rubbermaid site on food safety issues with plastic products.
But yeah, as others have said, regular 5-gallon buckets (http://www.chdist.com/material-handling-equipment/pails-pail-handling-equipment/d-1052-1588-1023) that haven't stored anything iffy are just fine.
As far as using other types of plastic containers--you might have to do a little research and extrapolate. Also, I've seen a number of websites where people show off their various makeshift container/hydroponic/indoor growing setups. Maybe you could find some hints on sites like that.
06-04-2008, 10:50 AM
I've been growing tomatoes and other vegetables in plastic pots for many years and have not suffered health consequences due to toxins (checks for extra digits and limbs :D).
One thing to keep in mind is that dark-colored plastic containers trap heat more than light-colored ones. This could be a disadvantage in hot-climate areas (too much heat at the roots is bad), or conversely an aid in short-season cool climates.
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