Types of Garden Enemies
Fig. 62
WEEDKILLERS
Weeds are not among the garden enemies outlined in this book, for it would take too much space to go into all the modern methods of weed control. Also, I have little personal experience along that line; I do not include weed removal in my ordinary plant doctoring. In Modern Gardening by P. P. Pirone you will find an excellent chapter on "Spraying Weeds to Death," and in the Spring, 1952, issue of Plants & Gardens, put out by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there is an exhaustive treatment of 454 weeds, arranged in alphabetical order with a specific control given for each one.

What I do meet, almost daily in my work, is a diseased condition of garden plants caused by hormone weedkillers being used in die vicinity and so I am inclined to look upon some weedkillers as a curse rather than a blessing, to be used with the greatest discretion.

Figure 62 gives four typical examples, the sketches being made from specimens taken when I was called in on consultation. The plants did not die, but they were seriously deformed for a year or two. The first sketch, A, shows what happened to roses grown commercially in a field two blocks or more away from a factory that mixed up a little 2,4-D one day. The fumes came out the tall smokestack, the wind was in the right direction, and the roses got full benefit. The chrysanthemums, B, were growing in a private greenhouse, but 2,4-D was used on the lawn outside. The rhododendron, C, was at the edge of a lawn sprayed with 2,4-D. The oak leaf, D, deformed out of all semblance of an oak pattern, came from a group of tall trees growing in a lawn treated with 2,4-D in powder form. Rain washed the chemical into the soil, it was taken up by the roots and all the leaves, clear to the top, reacted. I could give endless more examples of the twisting of stems and thickening and malformation or curling or fernlike growth of leaves when plants are innocent victims of an all-out war on weeds. Tomatoes are extremely sensitive, producing fine fernlike leaves at the slightest whiff of 2,4-D fumes.

When sprayers that have been used for applying weedkillers are later used for applying insecticides and fungicides to desirable plants, the end result may be death, or severe stunting. It is almost impossible to clean a sprayer sufficiently to get rid of every lingering trace of hormone chemicals. If you want to try, here are the rules. Rinse spray tank and hose with water




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