Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Organic does not necessarily mean “safe”

19 juilletDon’t imagine that an “organic” label means “safe.” Some organic pesticides are relatively safe, it is true, in particular those that have a strictly physical action, such as soaps, horticultural oils or neem or are parasites or predators on a specific group enemies, such as Bt or nematodes. But Mother Nature also produces poisons, even deadly poisons. So be careful when applying biological products such as nicotine, rotenone and Ryana: these are pesticides ‘natural’ but toxic and should only be used as a last resort.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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