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Pesticide alternatives

Show Date: 11 May 12
I was just talking with a woman about how to kill weeds using no chemicals.  Aside from hand pulling, you can prepare a new bed by laying down old carpet, plastic tarps or heavy cardboard down over the area in the Fall and come Spring, you’ll find a weed free zone.

While many of us prefer not to use chemicals, there’s a place for them in some situations.  I recently interviewed Jeff Gillman an associate Professor in the U of MN Horticulture department.

An alternative to copper (which is organic but highly toxic) is sulfur.  This is a fungicide.  It may take longer and more applications but it’s not toxic!!  That’s a trade-off I’m willing to make.

Pyrethrum is supposed to take out bugs.  It does.  It takes out ALL the insects, that means the good ones too.  Pyrethrum comes from the chrysanthemum plant which “sounds” like it would be great, however the EPA has labeled it a possible carcinogen.   Instead try insecticidal soaps.

Bacillus thuringiensis, aka Bt, is an insecticide that is a naturally occuring bacterium common in soils throughout the world.  It only lasts about a week but is worth the reapplication if necessary.

Hmmm, I don’t have any pretty pictures to put on this gardenbite…  I’ll just leave you with a look at what a delicious harvest will look like from your garden this late summer!

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