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Roundup (was Wild Garlic in Louisianas)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Roundup (was Wild Garlic in Louisianas)
  • From: bills@tiger.hsc.edu (Bill Shear)
  • Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 07:07:10 -0700 (MST)

I'd like to caution against using Roundup or perhaps even any other
herbicide if you grow certain other plants.  For three years, we had no
peppers in our vegetable garden because the pepper plants would develop
stunted, distorted growing tips when they were just a foot tall or so.  On
two occasions, I sent plants in to the Ag service at VaTech, and they
diagnosed it as herbicide damage.  The common denominator was that  in each
of those three years, I had used a spray bottle of roundup to destroy
persistant weeds in the lawn near the vegetable garden.  Despite careful
spot application evidently enough drifted to the bed where the peppers were
to be planted that it damaged them.  Peppers are incredibly sensitive to
Roundup, to be sure, but one wonders what other plants might be damaged if
less care had been used.  Since that experience, no Roundup, no pepper

Also, Roundup will have limited effectiveness against wild garlic because
of the minimal leaf surface area.

I'm not totally against herbicides, but they should be reserved for
otherwise intractable weed problems in large gardens.   I don't see any
place for them in the small backyard garden, yet now many, many people use
them there routinely.  I get a lot of satisfaction out of hand-weeding and
the nice, clean results; I don't like looking at slowly dying, shrivelling
weeds that have been treated with herbicide and I don't like not having my

Reminds me of a story of two doctors, one a gardener and the other a
dedicated golfer.  Both were extremely busy professionally.  The golfer saw
the gardener working up a sweat weeding his perennial border.  "Why don't
you hire somebody to do that for you?" He asked.  The gardener replied,
"Why don't YOU hire somebody to play golf for you?"

Sorry for the tirade--I'm just real skeptical of the application in our
backyards of chemicals designed for "industrial farming."

Best wishes, Bill
William A. Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 USA
phone (804) 223-6172
FAX (804) 223-6374

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