Sustainable Rose Gardening:
The Truth about Organic Gardening

 

All rose growers should be conscious of the impact pesticides can have on our roses, but did you know that many organic solutions are actually more harmful to the environment than chemical pesticides?  Americans continue to love their roses but many now want to grow them in an environmentally responsible manner; thus, the changing attitude towards sustainable rose gardening.   

 

By sustainable, we mean managing our rose gardens with minimal effects on the environment. This is one that is adapted to and managed without extra demand for chemicals, yet maintaining a healthy balance in the soil. There is a distinct difference between sustainable rose gardening and organic rose gardening because it uses natural approaches to feeding as well as pest control.

 

While we learn that “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe” -- a healthy balance also means we must scientifically weigh the risks and benefits of any gardening practice without regard to its “natural” label. Nature itself produces many highly dangerous chemicals, and we can refer to a book by Jeff Gillman titled, “The Truth about Organic Gardening” for our help.

 

As an associate professor of horticultural science, Dr. Gillman believes that organic gardening should be about making safe and smart choices such as reducing the use of pesticides and increasing the use of mulches and compost. In his book he lists over 100 rose gardening products and practices to determine its “safe and effective” consideration. To do this he evaluates its EIQ – the environmental impact quotient.

 

Seeking a standardized way to look at pesticides and determine the dangers to wildlife, humans and the environment, he numbers his findings from 10 to 100; the higher the number the greater the impact. While this is not perfect in all cases, this EIQ number will do until a more precise measure can be invented. Dr. Gillman prefers those with an EIQ of less than 25 for rose growers worldwide.

 

An original article published on the Internet, “A Method to Measure the Environmental Impact of Pesticides” is available along with a downloadable Excel file showing the calculations and EIQ number of most pesticides. Common insecticides, matricides and fungicides, both natural and synthetic used in most rose gardening will benefit rosarians seeking to reduce the impact of chemicals used in their gardens.

 

Esther B. Smith, author

Organic solutions to your constant garden pests can be a good thing or bad.. bet you did not realize that. We love our roses, but we love our earth as well -- where is the balance?

http://heritagerosegardening.com