A few weeks ago. I shared my free, green weed barrier, and I mentioned that I used RoundUp in my garden.
One of my readers emailed, concerned about the safety of RoundUp . She said, “Please find any alternative to weed control besides using RoundUp . You have young boys and, frankly, even your husband or you should not be spraying this deadly product.”
I am emailing her back personally, but I want to clear some things up here, too. But let me preface it by saying that I’m generally not scared of “chemicals.” And as a farmer, I actually have a high amount of a trust in the industry and the chemicals that are widely used by farmers.
Of course, I know that other people have a different level of comfort with “chemicals.” (I put chemicals in parentheses because everything contains chemicals…water is a chemical, oxygen is a chemical…but most people think of chemicals as something artificial and scary.) And that’s okay. We all have different things that worry us. One of my friends only wears closed-toed shoes in grass because she’s afraid of spiders and snakes. One of my friends won’t let her children near large dogs. We all have our own things.
Personally, RoundUp is not something I worry about. I use RoundUp (glyphosate) in my flower garden, around the sidewalk, and in the driveway.
There are a few reasons I feel this way (and have a low level of fear associated with other “chemicals” as well.)
Why I Feel Okay Using RoundUp in My Garden:1) The dose makes the poison. Most “chemical” exposure happens at very low levels. And, compared to other “chemicals,” glyphosate (RoundUp ) is only “slightly toxic.” (Caffeine, on the other hand, and copper sulfate, an organic compound used in organic production as a fungicide, are “very toxic.”) Click on the graphic for a more in depth explanation of toxicity & RoundUp .
2) Pesticides are fatal for pests, not humans. We are not the same as bugs. We are not the same as plants. Glyphosate targets a specific enzyme found in plants that does not exist in humans or animals. (The ratings used in the graphic are for toxicity in rats.)
3) “Chemicals” including glyphosate (RoundUp ) are subject to a LOT of research and strict standards for safety.
Here is a blog post from my friend Jennie, a registered dietician and farmer in Maryland, about the organic and synthethic pesticides she uses on her crops.
Ultimately, everyone will have a different comfort level with different risks and everyone can choose whether or not to use RoundUp in their gardens. If you’re not comfortable using it, then there are many other ways to get rid of weeds.
If you’re on the fence, I hope this blog post gives you a little more information and insight into why I feel totally comfortable using RoundUp (glyphosate.)
June Garden TourNow, let’s get to the fun stuff!
I decided to take some pictures of my flower gardens as they are right now. They’re not perfect, and there are weeds. But it’s fun to see the gardens change over time, so I plan to do semi-regular “tours” of our landscape for you to see!
On the southwest corner of our house, we have a small retaining wall. In front of the wall you can see (from left to right) a red twigged dogwood, evergreen vinca, a pretty hosta and coral bells (I think these are the “Hollywood” variety.)
On top of the wall, three more hostas, hydrangeas, and a juniper.
Another view of the upper section in front of the bay window. This part of the garden is slightly more formal than the rest. The back row is made up of hydrangeas, then there are some new (little) barberry bushes, daylilies, and catmint.
Speaking of catmint, it’s one of my favorite perennials. Drought tolerant, easy to divide, and keeps the deer away! What more could you want?
This catmint is part of a small bed on the southwest corner of the yard.
Last year, I had a small container herb garden over here, and I think that fluffy thing is a volunteer herb. Anyone know what it is?
View of the house from the west side…
The north side…some pretty hostas, a hydrangea, a ninebark bush and a red twigged dogwood, then more hostas.
And the northwest corner:
Mini iris, two pulmonaria (there were supposed to be three, but one didn’t come back,) a couple of daylilies, and an arborvitae. And a vintage concrete turkey. Why not?
I hope you enjoyed the garden tour. If you’d like to chime in about RoundUp , please follow the rules: Use Nice Words.