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Re: Toxic Wood in the garden & other things to avoid

Sharon wrote:

>I know that we shouldn't use pressure treated wood in the garden.  What sort
>of rules do you have for painted wood?  I have not been able to get info
>on that and it's possible toxicity other than of course lead paint.

We've never had a question about painted wood -- considering that most of
our folks don't frame their beds and tend to use metal or bamboo stakes,
this just hasn't been an issue for us. . .

>Toxic insecticides/pesticides/fungicides

As an organic community garden, our bylaws specifically forbid the use of
chemical insectides, etc.  If you have proper air circulation, you should
haven't a problem with fungi -- if you do, you should relook at how you have
arranged your plants -- they are probably too close together.

>How about fertilizers?  Organic only?  Or anything that's not actively
>toxic like sewer sludge laced with heavy metals?

If you compost, you really shouldn't need fertilizers beyond some bonemeal
or a foliar spray (I like the kelp sprays myself, but the fish emulsion is
good, too).  We only allow organic fertizilers, but it's really more
important to take care of your soil -- add as much organic material as you
can get your hands on and help your local horse or livestock producer get
rid of THEIR waste problem by removing as much of their manure/straw from
their place to yours.  Most of these folks have to PAY to have their manure
hauled, so you might as well let in come in your direction where it will do
you and your plants some good.

>How about problem/invasive plants?
>Does anyone prohibit the growing of purple loosestrife or kudzu or
>require that mint and bamboo be kept in pots?

We've never had a problem with invasive plants -- my solution is to teach
folks to eat "Native American greens" (sounds SO much better than "weeds"!
;-)) or the mint or whatever.  In a community garden, your mints and bamboo
will probably be used so much that they don't get to be serious problems.  I
can't speak for kudzu as it doesn't seem to grow this far North, but I think
anyone who would PLANT something as useless and dangerous to the ecosystem
as purple loosestrife needs some serious one-on-one environmental education
anyway. . .

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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