Q. We have been growing fruit trees in Vegas for 5 years and we want to grow about 30 to 40 fruit trees on some new property we bought. The area may have been sprayed with Roundup earlier this year. What do you recommend to neutralize or leech out the Roundup before planting the orchard?
A. The science behind Roundup says it does not persist long in hot weather and in our types of soils. It has an agreed upon half-life ofless than two months and the longest half-life reported in research is six months. I don’t think you need to do anything to the soil but prepare it for planting this fall and next spring. Any remaining Roundup in the soil will be nearly gone and, at best, be negligible by then.
The USDAOrganic Program recognizes food production to be “organic” after the soil has not had any unapproved fertilizers, pesticides and soil amendments applied for the three years before and up to harvest. Since your fruit trees will not produce a substantial amount of fruit for about three years after planting, you are fine.After three years from planting, if anything applied to the area meets the Departmentof Agriculture’s approved organic list, then anything harvested from these trees will meet the requirements for the USDA’s Organic Program.