Judith, I do understand.* We rented this house for 13 years before we purchased it 5 years ago.* During that time I NEVER used chemicals in the garden. I still don't.* We have a great diversity of bird life, squirrels, a woodchuck that has visited once, butterflies galore, hummingbirds and toads.* All on 1/10th of an acre. We also have 4 dogs and 2 cats.*
Unfortunately the home inspection found carpenter ants.* I begged the exterminator to use the least toxic chemicals.* Within a week I found 6 dead toads.* It was heartbreaking.* I also have chemical sensitivities, so I really do understand.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.