Monday Miscellany: Plants You Can’t Kill, Sprays That CAN Kill, and Assorted Other, Um, Miscellany

by Genevieve on January 24, 2011

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I’ll start out with the depressing bit: Despite the fact that many gardeners have a relationship of convenience with Roundup, and an “it’s not so bad” attitude about the harmful effects it has on the environment and on human health, scientists are continually discovering new ways Roundup is screwing with our bodies and our environment.

From Paul Tukey’s Organic Lawn Care site:

“You have to look at what Roundup does to the physical properties of the soil, to the biology of the soil, to the disease pathogens in the soil. All these things are affected negatively by Roundup. Then you have to look at what happens to the plant, inside the plant. We know, for example, that Roundup binds all sorts of micronutrients than don’t make it into the plant from the soil. That means we’re harvesting unhealthy plants and those plants are making it into the food supply.

“What happens next when beneficial nutrients don’t make it into the food supply? We get fat, obese in some cases, because we eat and we’re still hungry. We get diabetes. It’s all because of the food chain affected by Roundup.”

That led our conversation back to the ultimate reasons I called, which were Roundup Ready alfalfa and backyard use of Roundup by virtually every homeowner in suburbia. Huber used the same analogy on the latter matter.

“What are the cumulative effects?” he asked. “People only think about what they’re using at that moment. But what about how much Roundup they’re consuming in their food, too? When you look at the whole picture, it points to a very serious problem.”

Go, read his 3-part series about Roundup and see if you can go back to buying Cheerios and spraying weeds the way you used to. I’ve recently started eating closer to my convictions on this, and despite having to cut back my budget in other areas to pay for it, I’ve found it worthwhile just in how energetic I feel. I really do think our recent methods of farming have been detrimental to our nutrition.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Allrighty, moving right along. . .

cactus!Plants You Can’t Kill

Artist Shannon Girard got tired of killing houseplants over and over again, so instead of dooming another living thing to her care, she decided to crochet herself some loveliness! And here we are: Crocheted cactus. Yes, all you crochet people now know what to make me for Christmas next year.

I just took up felting so that I can make adorable small creatures for myself, but I may have to take a break from felting my tiny sheep herd and make some cactus.

A Way To Garden’s 3-Year Anniversary

Margaret Roach from A Way to Garden walks that beautiful balance where she manages to be real and share her take on life, while also sharing things that are useful for the rest of us. This marks her 3-year anniversary, and to celebrate she shared her top fifty most popular posts.

My favorites?

What Weed Is It? Putting Names to Pesky Plants

Pruning Roundup: What Shrubs I Prune When

Clafoutis Batter: Universal Solvent of Fruit Dessert

Tillandsia Picture Frame

Jenny’s on a roll with an awesome new way of displaying your Tillandsias/ air plants. No, not glued to a seashell and stuck on your fridge. This is cooler:

DIY Tillandsia picture frame

Go on over and check her out.

Anyone else have any cool articles or sites to share this week? Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments below.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz January 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

I realize that most pesticides are bad, but I can’t bring myself to go read the article on round-up. It’s just so useful sometimes…

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Genevieve January 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Ignorance is bliss… :)

Just read it, Liz. It’s best to know and make an informed decision than not know and cringe each time you use it because of unknown dangers. I think even worse than occasional landscape use is the roundup you consume in your cheerios, meat, etc. Change how you shop, even if you won’t change how you garden.

But I haven’t used a non-organic herbicide in over a year, for ANY client, and shockingly, their weed-control budget has gone down due to a few preventive things I have done. Organic weed control isn’t all hand-pulling weeds. We do have some great modern options.

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Margaret Roach January 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Funny how *my* favorites never make the top-50 list. Guess I like the really offbeat stuff. : ) Anyhow, thank you, as ever!

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Genevieve January 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I’m with Dierdre, wondering which are YOUR favorites? Maybe some of the Andre doodles, would be my guess. Thanks for stopping by, Margaret!

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Deirdre January 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Argh!!! I’ve been mowing down the Himalayan blackberries in my lower lot for THREE years. I was finally ready to break down and spray them with Roundup. It’s a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.

So, Margaret, which are your favorites?

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Genevieve January 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Deirdre, try adjusting the soil using Greenergy’s organic herbicides as a soil drench. Go to their website for details if you’re keen to try it. Great for highly invasive woody plants like that.

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Deirdre January 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Thank you for the suggestion.

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David Grist January 26, 2011 at 6:45 am

At Gardener’s Supply, we have a lot of display beds, and some of them are relatively new. I find that the weeds quickly take advantage of the space between young plants and shrubs. Especially troublesome are the weeds that come in by windblown seeds. In cases like this, the first tool I reach for is the Hula Hoe. It quickly disrupts the “weedlings” and it’s kind of fun, too.

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Genevieve January 26, 2011 at 8:14 am

David, I love hoes. Thanks for your rec!

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gina January 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm

i’ve been using round up in the summer, to control the neighbor’s english ivy (she LIKES the ivy!). it relentlessly creeps over the fence into my yard. argh. but. i was convicted by those round up posts. : ) now, i’m looking for new ideas of how to slow the evil ivy down. have you found anything organic that works on it? i might try a blow torch next. ; ) just kidding.

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Genevieve January 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Gina, I guess the question is – do you want to kill the ivy at the root (kill your neighbor’s ivy also) or just shrivel anything on your side?

Let me know and I can suggest a few things. The blow torch is not actually a horrific idea!! :)

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gina January 28, 2011 at 9:34 am

I would LOVE to kill the entire plant, inconspicuously of course…while they’re on vacation…. But I’ll settle for killing the parts that creep on my side. : )

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Genevieve January 28, 2011 at 9:40 am

Perfect! Pretty much all organic sprays will only kill the foliage that comes on your side and won’t harm what it doesn’t touch. Weed Pharm is the one I’ve found strongest when I tested, though have heard good things about Nature’s Avenger and Burnout 2.

You can use a torch, but only if your fence is made of stone or brick!!

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