Peter Taggart petersirises@gmail.com
Sun, 02 Feb 2020 11:45:46 PST
I remember a history teachers comment on my essay, when I hadn't done
enough home work to make the essay the requisite length.... but spun it out
anyway that I could....

My Fathers garden, built and planted over circa 50 years, contained about
12000 species of plants. Built on approximately three acres, It is one of
the most bio diverse sites in Scotland. For most of its existence it was
built and maintained by one person, with one helper, though the
individuals changed with time.  Chemicals were kept to a minimum during
periods when my father, or I ran it. It was always apparent when chemicals
had been used in an area. There would be a disproportionate number of
problems. Plants would recover more slowly from damage, others would die
out inexplicably.  Fauna would become unbalanced, leading to infestations-
rust, canker, caterpillars, weeds, aphids, slugs. Chemicals such
as glyphosate are certainly useful to me as a gardener, but with minimal
use. I have seen symptoms on annual weeds years after applying it to
perennial weeds in the same site, though unknown to me the brand may have
had other poisons in it.

I am aware that I cannot know all the effects that my actions will have on
plants, bacteria, bryophytes, mites, nematodes, insects, mycorrhiza and
other inhabitants of the soil and its surface. Most of them I will have
never seen or heard of. These organisms interact to create the growing
environment in which I garden, so it well behoves me to be cautious with
potent chemicals. When I do apply glyphosate, it is as a weak solution, and
repeated, and I rarely spray. I drip it onto the leaves of the plant I am
attacking, or run the leaves through the wetted fingers of a gloved hand,
very effective for rhizomatous grasses in the roots of other plants. I keep
about ten acres of garden for myself, and clients, I rarely use  a pint of
glyphosate solution in a year.
Peter (UK)
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