Avoiding herbicides and pesticides


After tackling the products we used in the house to help our dog Leo, ourselves and our environment, next on my list was the garden. This was a tougher job than I had thought, not only in finding alternative weed killers, but also changing my and my family’s perspective as to what a garden should be and how it should be cared for. We are all bombarded in the spring and summer with lawn care products and weed killers and encouraged to use them generously. But looking into what is in them, how they affect our pets who walk or roll on these pesticides and herbicides and then lick their paws and fur, and how they can affect us when we walk barefoot or play with our children and grandchildren on the lawn is downright scary.


The statement “The difference between a plant and a weed is a matter of perspective” is so true. And dandelions are a perfect example. They are among the first food for bees in the spring and all parts of the plant have multiple healing properties for us and our pets, yet we are encouraged by companies selling herbicides to look at them as weeds and kill them. Personally I’m trying to consciously choose to embrace them. I now pull them out when they grow in places I would rather they didn’t and either use all of the parts in my apothecary, or add them to my compost pile to nourish my vegetable garden.


Vinegar shines again and is useful in the garden too. Use it with salt and a little dish soap as an alternative to herbicides on walkways and driveways. It’s non-selective though so be careful where you pour it. Boiling hot water can also be used to kill weeds on these surfaces.


I am trying to choose the products we use in our garden carefully and not take a manufacturer’s word for it that a product is safe for our pets. There are many out there that say they are but then the instructions are that we and our children should not walk in the treated area for several hours. If it’s not safe for us, it is not safe for our dog either. It’s a difficult path to walk and I often want the quick solution to a problem in the garden which pesticides and herbicides would give. But a simple reminder to choose to put myself, the beautiful Souls who share my life and our environment first, helps bring me back on track and stand my ground when others want to use something I know is not good for all of us.


One of my visions is a world in which there are less chemicals used in gardens and instead a change in shared perspective as to what is considered beauty and weeds.


With love always,