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In this corner we have Chemicals, in the other we have Organics!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by The Plant Doc on October 08, 2005 08:53 PM
This can be a touchy subject and a lot of people feel very passionate about their views, so lets try to be nice and respectful and come out fighting! [muggs]

Personally I happen to think that political correctness has just about ruined this country in many different aspects, and it has become politically correct to trash the use of chemicals.

While I do not think that chemicals are the answer for every problem out there, I do feel that as long as they are used properly they can be a great tool in our arsenal against pests in our gardens.

The almost unregulated use of pesticides got this country and many others into a lot of trouble which was brought to light back in the 60's and early 70's when we found out what DDT was doing to our bird populations. Since then the rules have changed keeping our safety and the good of the environment in mind.

Todays pesticides are a lot safer, break down quicker, and are a lot more user friendly then the ones of days gone by, but they still have the bad reputation of the older ones. I believe the main reason why they have not been able to shake this reputation is the very liberal press that loves to jump on the subject. They do so in a very irresponsible manor however publishing articles quoting studies that were done in a biased manor, many times with the results being predetermined before the study has even been preformed.

The other side of the coin would be "Organics" or natural gardening.
Hey this is great, if you have the time to watch over your garden and you don't want to have as big of a crop yield.

In my mind the choice is yours on both counts, what I do in my garden (within reason) will not impact you and visa versa so I think everyone has the right to choose which way they want to garden.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by angelblossom on October 09, 2005 12:44 AM
Yep Plant Doc I agree w/ you that chemicals when used correctly and in moderations when applied are not harmful., I believe a lot more of us are using the them now days then 20 years ago.., I used to use diazonnone(SP) now my nuserey doesn't sell it and hasn't for a number of years they wont sell any foods, pestiside(s). with anything in it regulated in the 70"s..However when I go to the outskirts of town, to feed/grain wholesale distributer I find all kinds of chem there... so what ever works for each gardner personally , as long as it is safe for the enviornment short and long term when used correctly and in moderation [flower] [angel]

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Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up!  -  -
http://photobucket.com/albums/e374/2thtek/  -  -
by weezie13 on October 09, 2005 03:17 AM
I would like to pipe in here..
and say that, I am an organic gardener..
and I basically don't like chemicals because
of the guy who's NOT TRAINED in using them..
Not the guy who's supposedly trained in them..

Also, the biggest reason I don't use them is...
Following the directions is not one of my finer points, *as in many I'm sure* and I know people don't follow them.

And, I like to eat straight outta my garden whenever the mood strikes me (like hunger)... I don't want to have to run to the bottle to find out when I can eat it after so many days of applying it, and I'd forget which day I applied what, when and on which one... I'd have to keep a score card with the large amounts of plant life I have, and when I see a bug...and when I applied..

And the last thing is my kids, I encourage them to eat from the garden...*some times they don't want to eat anything in front of me, so they'll go in and taste something and say, hey mom, that was good! Or don't ever make me eat that stuff again!!!
And I certainly couldn't have them in there tasting stuff willy~nilly behind my back after applying something.. if you know what I mean..
I'ts hard enough to get kids to eat anything, and then to thwart them off of eating FRESH vegetables
I can't say I'd like that...

But then again, I am at home and I can watch the garden, and I know it's hard for people work are gone during the days...*(Chemical Bob and I have had many discussions on the use of them because of his schedule)* but my hopes would be more organic type products that people would use FIRST, than reaching for the deadliest first..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Pesticus on October 09, 2005 03:33 AM
But there's not just two sides to the story! There's a new group of crop protection products that are not organic, but are falling outside of the pesticide legislation. These products are applied like normal chemical pesticides (sprayed, drenched etc.) but with greater care to ensure full coverage. The reason for the greater care in application is that they kill by a physical contact effect. The safety data shows them to be non-toxic, but they certainly have enough efficacy data to show they work. Check out www.cal-agri.com and www.sbpi.co.uk No doubt we'll soon have a lot more of these available for use. This really does have to be the way forward..... Safety first! There's an awful lot of natural (organic) substances that are certainly not safe! I recall a local gardener who used to sell his produce until it was revealed that he used to spray the contents of his cess pit over his plants every week!... He believed in being organic!
by weezie13 on October 09, 2005 03:37 AM
quote:
There's an awful lot of natural (organic) substances that are certainly not safe! I recall a local gardener who used to sell his produce until it was revealed that he used to spray the contents of his cess pit over his plants every week!... He believed in being organic!
May I ask what cess pit is??
Is that what you would call a ceptic tank here??

If it is, my father in law tells me of a time,
way back that they used to take the human waste and spread it out.. *somewhere's, can not for the
life of me remember* but they would get tomato
seeds sprouting in it, cause the seeds can not be digested, same as grass seeds for horse's thru their insides..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Pesticus on October 09, 2005 04:07 AM
Yes indeed Cess Pit is the same as a Sceptic tank. What really made me feel sick was when I found he'd been spraying it over his spinach... and I used to eat it regularly with minimal washing because I naively believed it was safe as it was organic!

I wondered why I kept finding tomat seeds stuck in my teeth! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
by weezie13 on October 09, 2005 04:19 AM
quote:
I wondered why I kept finding tomat seeds stuck in my teeth!
[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [thumb]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Meg on October 10, 2005 05:53 PM
Ya know, a couple years ago, I'd have thought to be the "chemical queen". I had all kinds of weed killers, grass killers, bug killers.. just had to kill everything, and knew no other way to deal. Then I found this place. I found out there's a lot of different ways to combat your foes. While I will never be truly organic, I do try to do a LOT less chemical. I like the different oils for the buggies. A lot safer than some of the other stuff I was using. And a nursery that opened this summer.. I was just there for the first time recently. While they showed me around, she talked of organic methods of bug control.. like joy dish liquid diluted & sprayed. Used brillo pads in a gallon jug of water, and spray that (I think she said it stops roses from getting black spot.) Ok, so I don't know how organic these methods are, but are surely much better than some of the strong chemicals that you need to wear a mask & gloves, and full body armor or hazmat suit to use.

And of course, there's the flowers. Flowers that attract beneficials. Ok, so I still had problems this year with my garden. I had a new garden, and still learning. But I did have the luck of planting some benefical's favorites near my garden, and I think that it probably reduced some of my problems. (at least, until the japanese beetles hit, they were bad for everyone this year!)

I've never seen so many wonderful bugs in my life. I loved seeing them, and realizing they were "good bugs". The first time I saw a lady beetle larvae, I was exstatic, as I had never seen one before, only in pictures. I found so many this year! And lady beetles galore! Last year, I had to BUY lady beetles, and it was pretty much too late.

The couple times I think I may have used something harmful this year, I cringed at the thought of hurting my beneficials. I tried to make sure for the most part that they said "not harmful to beneficial insects".

I really am trying, but yes, there are times, when the chemicals will probably still be used. Only, a LOT less than before.

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I reject your reality, and substitue my own!
My favorite digital camera photos that I took.
My family, garden, and a bunch of misc. photos!
by The Plant Doc on October 10, 2005 07:41 PM
Pesticus

I went to that link provided, and those will not fall outside the legislation.
Here in the USA the definition of a pesticide is:

Something that when applied will reduce the population of a targeted species.

If you really want to pick nits a bullet when used to shoot a rabbit that has been eating in your garden would have to be considered a "pesticide" or a rodenticide in its case.

Even household cleaners in this country fall under the pesticide regulations as they kill bacteria.

As far as some pesticides being safer then others, that happens no doubt. Of the 5 major use insecticide;
Bactericide (sp?)
Herbicides
Insecticides
Fungicides
Miticides

On average it would be a toss up between insect and fungicides as to which was the least harmful to humans and our pets (besides fish)

Here in the USA there are 4 classifications of how toxic or dangerous a product is, and they can be found on every package of pesticide.
they go in this order

Caution
Warning
Danger
Danger poison

Most insecticides fall into the caution level, the only reason why the fungicides are up a notch falling under "warning" is they they are mostly eye irritants.
Going back to what you said about those products falling outside the guidelines for being classified as a pesticide. I would actually feel more at ease using something that was classified as a pesticide, and knowing that it has undergone the rigid testing that all pesticides in this country do. This way when I read the label I know that it has been written by a government agency, and not the company that is trying to sell or promote the product.
For example; We have a large problem in this country with things called "diet supplements"
These products are labeled in this manor so the are not regulated as medicines. They fall "outside" the guidelines. So there is no regulations restricting the use of these things, and companies who are going to profit from these products can basically say what ever they please, and also make up their own dosages. Not a good situation!
That is why I would much rather use something that has been tested and found to be effective.

dang this is getting long.....sorry for any misspellings as I have not even had my 1st cup of coffee yet

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by Meg on October 10, 2005 07:56 PM
Mike, I know when I listed the things I did, that they probably aren't considered "organic" by any means, but likely a lot safer than some of the harsher chemicals I may have used, once upon a time.

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I reject your reality, and substitue my own!
My favorite digital camera photos that I took.
My family, garden, and a bunch of misc. photos!
by Longy on October 10, 2005 11:43 PM
My feelings on this subject are as follows.

Pesticides should be used as a method of control when organic methods have failed. Now I define organic methods as non use of chemicals, including the 'safe' chemicals. This applies to fertilizers as well as pesticides.

For example, I often suggest on this forum to use pest exclusion methods such as mosquito nets to exclude fruitfly, or cabbage moth for example. These work well in the home garden, costs are low and the equipment is reusable. Baiting snails with beer traps is another example. Similarly, something as simple as encouraging predators such as birds and wasps will have a massive effect on home garden pest populations, so a birdbath is a must in my view. Healthy plants will naturally repel pests, so time spent understanding, caring for and feeding the soil will also create a more robust plant, less likely to be attacked or affected by insects, fungi etc. Nature created these plants to survive. The fittest will do so, the weaker will succumb to attack. They even care for themselves when you are not there to supervise, as is my situation.

These types of methods are a purist view of the term 'organic'. That doesn't mean I am a purist organic grower, that's just my perception of the term.

So occasionally, you may decide to spray. Is a garlic or chilli spray so out of the question? They are pesticides if they kill pests. What about if they trap pests, like fly and mosquito traps or repel them like a scarecrow or a cup of urine diluted in water? Laugh. I do whenever I use it, but it works great to repel the bandicoots, wallabies and possums at home. Gophers come to mind as possibly a similar animal "pest".

Then there are the actual pesticides. The actual mix 'em up and spray 'em chemicals. Some are less poisonous than others. So if you need to spray, why not start with the lower toxicity ones first, if they are the right ones for the job, like using a pestoil or whiteoil instead of a systemic like rogor? I mean, you don't need a man to do a boys job right?

As Weezie suggested, a large part of the problem with chemicals of any type is the ignorance and lack of reading and understanding of the labels that can be the problem. This is true of fertilisers, pesticides and pretty much anything with a big label on it that requires any length of time to read and comprehend
.
My neighbour just sprays lebaycid whenever he sees a pest of any description on anything in his garden. He has no wasp population. He sprays them too. And the garden spiders. Of course the bees take a hammering so his pollination is not so good. His soil doesn't have that healthy look either, due to lack of organic matter, he uses only chemical fertilizers. So he has to water more and a lack of mulch allows that water to be evaporated away. We have water restrictions in summer so he sneaks out at night to water everything. I have no idea of the long term effects of lebaycid. I'm sure it's a very debatable topic, I'd just rather not find out in 20 years that it actually causes some negative reaction in people or the environment not previously thought of. Maybe I'm over cautious. Maybe not, but gees I grow yummy veggies and I can pick them, give them a quick rinse and eat them. No with-holding period.

As an aside, I don't reckon pesticides save time in a garden in the long term, as they can tend to unbalance the natural processes and therefore leave other potential for pest infestation. Like if you spray a section of weeds with glyphosate. The first thing to grow there will be more weeds. If you mulch the weeds though, they will feed the soil and create humus. Similarly, if you spray with a non target insecticide, you will kill the beneficial insects too. You can bet the pest insect will recover faster.

So for me. Organic purism is first where feasible. Then I'll move to the least toxic poisons available, with no small amount of thought of the best time to do so to get optimum results.
I bought a small jar of rogor about 15 years ago but haven't had to use it yet. Anything that sick it needs rogor just gets pulled out and replaced with a more suitable plant for the conditions. It means i made a bad plant choice.
That's enough. This is getting longer than a pesticide label

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The secret is the soil.
by weezie13 on October 11, 2005 03:42 AM
quote:
I grow yummy veggies and I can pick them, give them a quick rinse and eat them. No with-holding period.

Heck, I don't even wash 'em...
Give 'em an ole wipin' down the drawers I'm wearin' and that's it...
Tomatoes and peas mostly..
Radish's and carrots, wipe them off on the bottom
of my pants...lettuce..me and the last one break
off little pieces' here and there and stuff 'em
in our mouths with no dressing....

And one you didnt' mention Longy is "Trap Crops"
To grow common primrose, borage, malva, and wild grapes to keep the japanese beetles on those instead of my other plants..

And Longy, your neighbor sounds EXACTLY like my old neighbor, everything got something sprayed on it.. and wondered why things didn't do good..
DUH!!!
Since that neighbor moved, the japanese beetle population is down considerably... and am workin' on the rest of them to take those darn JB Bags down [Frown] [Mad]

And by gosh, if you weren't married already there Longy, I'd be flyin' where you live [Wink] ..Man after me own heart... [Smile]
Well said on every [teacher] point [critic] !!!

*Plant Doc...
Where do your pyrethrums fall into the pesticide categories????

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by The Plant Doc on October 13, 2005 07:17 AM
Sorry My puter was in getting fixed for a couple of days

Where do your pyrethrums fall into the pesticide categories

These are insecticides. Originally they were derived from believe it or not, flowers, but now they are made synthetically.
The original ones were organic by its true definition, but that does not mean much, as there are some pretty nasty "organic" things out there, which by the way are much more lethal then their man made counterparts. By the way VX Gas was discovered when a chemical company was playing around with pyrethrums, as they were trying to manufacture a safer insecticide.
The use of most pyrethrums is pretty safe although approximately one in seven people may develop a slight skin rash when they come in contact with it. One in a 1000 will actually develop a burn similar to a sunburn. I am one of those in the 1 in a 1000 group...lol

Meg I was actually referring to Pesticus's post in my last post

Personally my view on when chemicals should be used, is when the value of what ever plant be it a tree, lawn, or house plant, you are talking about is being put into danger.
You should try a preemptive approach to keeping pest problems from getting to that point. It is much easier to keep a problem from occurring then to try to stop one that is already underway. Most of the time this can be done with out the use of chemicals, but in some cases such a lawn that has had a history of grub problems a preemptive strike of a insecticide would be called for since there is not other way to control the little critters.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by The Plant Doc on October 13, 2005 07:20 AM
(Heading off the milky spore comeback)

since there is not other way to control the little critters.

Okay I guess I should say no other way that really works.

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc

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