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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/21/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Be safe killing weeds

Be safe killing weeds

No need for pesticides because other approaches work

Ah, spring! Buying seeds and compost, preparing beds — feels good!

But then there are weeds. It’s the rare individual who likes to deal with weeds. But let’s think of weeds a little differently.

To a person who really knows plants, that weed patch is an herbal pharmacy. Remedies and cures abound!

“Yea, OK” you say, “but I still don’t want them!”

If you must exile these herbs, do so safely.

Don’t assume that the chemicals you buy over the counter are safe, they are not. Many severe and long-term health issues are caused by their use. Ever wonder why there’s so much cancer?

Not reading the labels of these chemicals is a federal offense and your neighbors can sue you over herbicide and pesticide drift.

Safer approaches to weed control include mulches, grass clippings, bark, newspaper, cardboard and straw.

Chips of straw laid down like carpet tiles will prepare a new garden bed over winter without tilling.

Just pull the straw aside and stick in your seeds --- no weeds.

Vinegar will kill any plant and it’s cheap and safe.

Corn gluten will dispose of broad leaf plants in established lawns.

Long-handled weed pullers and flamers are at your garden centers.

I once gave neighborhood kids a penny for each tomato horn worm they found in the garden. Control cost less than 25 cents.

There are soap or water sprays, diatomaceous earth and sticky papers for flying insects as well as beer traps or boards for slugs.

Paper towel cores trap earwigs, which are great chicken treats.

There are many safe and organic herbicides and pesticides available. Google to find them or try Oregon Tilth.

Please keep your family, pets, pollinators and environment safe.

Happy gardening!


Yvonne Da Torre is a nutritionist and herbalist and lives in Cove.

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