re: Master gardener education
Edna M Weigel (email@example.com)
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 11:24:18 -0700
From the various discussions I've recently seen, it seems that
the Master Gardener class I attended was neither the worst nor the best.
At least our Extension Service has SOME environmentally responsible
employees. But I wonder if anyone can enlighten me on one particular
thing that bothered me...
When one of my classmates offered a recipe for controling powdery
mildew which contained baking soda, our county agent immediately
announced it is "illegal" to use such substances because the EPA hasn't
registered baking soda as a pesticide and that ALL pesticides must be
registered by EPA to be legal.
With a naturally occuring soil pH of 8.2, I am reluctant to apply
ANY sodium salt in my garden, but it bothers me if there aren't limits to
what the EPA prohibits.
The county agent's often-expressed defination of a pesticide is
anything that kills a pest, whether it is organic or chemical or
mechanical or whatever. That includes the sneakers I buy at the second
hand store and use to squash the giant, brilliantly-colored grasshoppers
my chickens won't eat. It includes the chickens which eat the majority
of our grasshoppers. And it would even include the water I use to spray
aphids off my roses. Does the EPA register these things? I hardly think
On the other hand, there are very good reasons for the EPA to
control what most people think of as pesticides. Can any of you define
what classes of things the EPA does register and, thus, would require EPA
approval before legal use as a pesticide?
I doubt if this information will change my way of doing things,
but maybe I'd be able to get this question off my mind.
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