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If You Do as the Chemlawn people tell you,


You could miss out on a field of buttercups.

4 comments to If You Do as the Chemlawn people tell you,

  • Bill

    Alas, buttercups. Certainly you are right to appreciate their winsome beauty. But, as one who cultivates pastures for horses, I have sworn a fatwah agin’ ’em. Many people don’t know it, but buttercups are toxic…loaded with oxalic acid, the microscopic needle-sharp crystals of which wreak havoc on delicate digestive system mucous membranes, causing bleeding ulcerations, inflammation, and just general nasty tissue damage. So hippies, please don’t go dicing them up in your salad for a dash of color.

    Horses are smart enough to avoid eating buttercups if there’s anything else to eat; mostly buttercup toxicity is observed in mistreated horses who have nothing else to graze on. But these delicate, beautiful plants can spread like crazy, particularly on poorly husbanded ground. There’s a horse farm near here where the buttercups have pretty much taken over the pastures wall-to-wall (or fence-to-fence?). I feel truly sorry for their poor horses.

    The chemical-free way to control them is regular mowing, to keep those cute flowers from forming seeds. But sometimes that’s not possible in a pasture. In those cases I do agree with the ChemLawns of the world…nuke ’em with 2,4-D. But I only spot-spray problem patches, I don’t broadcast-spray (drinking well water does tend to keep you honest!). If you stay on top of ’em, it really requires very little chemical intervention very infrequently.

  • Peregrin Wood

    Sounds like a good reason not to own a hobby horse, Bill. I’d rather have the buttercups.

  • Bill

    Cool; sounds like that works for you, Peregrin. But my wife is a professional horse trainer who has yet to figure out a way to earn an equally remunerative and useful living off of buttercups…so for us, not so much.

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