Joanna, you are so very welcome!* I'm not on staff here.* I'm just an avid gardener who is passionate about the environment.* I will say that Backyardgardener has been very generous to me for helping out.**:D
I'm sorry I didn't notice your location.* I thought I'd looked and apparently I didn't notice your location.* :?
I did a google search with the term:
Israel + pressure treated wood
Israel + preservative treated wood
and was unable to find out what is used where you are.* Please try and repeat my search and see what kind of info you find locally. It would probably be best to use the word 'impregnatzia'. I did that but couldn't get any hits.* Google asked if I meant:
Israel + impregnated + wood
and I clicked on that.* I got 144,000 hits.
If you don't understand what you are reading (many folks don't), I will be happy to read it and see what I can do to help as long as it's in English.*** :)
From what I'm reading, heavy metals and toxic substances travel through sandy soils more quickly and therefore can get into the water supply more quickly as well. The longer the treated substance has been exposed to water and air, the less toxins remain to be leached out over time.* But I haven't been able to find info on how far away from structures the soil remains contaminated and how long it takes for the substances to leach out.* You can read from #2 - Literature and background information here.* Read especially 2.1, 2.1 and 4.1 here.
Is there any way you can find a label on the wood or contact the builder to get info on just what is in the wood?
I have no clue what is used in the paints where you are so it would be difficult to say anything about how toxic it is.* I would think that paint rated for outdoor use wouldn't bleed and shouldn't be a problem.* Most of the problems with paint are the off gasing of fumes.* As to the vinyl siding, the big problem with pollution for that is in the manufacture process and disposal that causes problems.* Vinyl is a petroleum based product.
There's lots of info on organic gardening on the internet and at this site as well.* Just click on the links on the left for compost and organic garden.* I have loads of links too.* I would also suggest you start your compost pile right away instead of waiting.* It can start to decompose while you are away.* If you need info on organics or how to compost don't hesitate to ask.* Sounds like you've done quite a bit of research already.
I got a giggle out of your mango tree with one fruit.* :) * I just love mangos!** They prefer a pH of slightly acid but they do tolerate slightly alkaline soil.* Maybe this will help.
I was almost born in Israel.* My mother was pregnant with me when my parents were to leave, but at the last minute my father decided he didn't want to move there.* I had a cousin who lived there for a couple of years, but when she was faced with going into the army, she came back to the US.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.