Monday, March 20, 2006

If it quacks like a Quack, it's a Quack.

Takoma Gardener: Jerry Baker, "America's Master Gardener" or Master Quack?

The Takoma Gardener blog has taken off against Jerry Baker and his magical household formulas for the garden. I remember looking at one of Baker's first books and wondering about some of the stuff he puts in his potions. I don't recall what all was in them. I do remember Epsom salts, which are good for roses in the early spring, and at some point he added asprin, which is chemically similar to the chemical signals plants send out when stressed, which puts other plants on the defense.

But my goodness, now he's pumping the whole yard and the soil, too, full of mouthwash, antiseptic, dish soap, and tobacco water. Mr. Baker, what's up with that? Are you worried that our gardens might be dirty? Well, here's news: the bacteria and dirt are supposed to be there.

Now tobacco water -- that brings back memories of my grandmother soaking my father's old cigarette butts in a bucket of water and spraying the resulting juice on her garden. Ah, what a bug killer that was. Toxic nicotine, one of the deadliest poisons on the planet. Eventually my dad got the message and quit. Smoking bug poison isn't a good idea.

As for Mr. Baker, well, it seems his PR people are proclaiming: "Get the latest scoop straight from the bloggers!" Well, here 'tis: Jerry Baker is a Quack with a capital Q.

Read Takoma Gardener's post, and pass it on.

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