Guest Commentary: Appeal for Pesticide Free Lawns

 

Lawn pesticides are thought to be carcinogenic, especially in children and pets. They are banned in Canada for that reason.  Green Newton recommends using safer alternatives, and other community leaders, including Councilor Vicki Danberg, are squarely on board for educating our Newton neighbors about the dangers of lawn pesticides.

Children, pets and people with compromised immune-systems are most susceptible to the cancer-causing chemicals. Our beloved dog, Scout, died on January 19 from an aggressive cancer.  Councilor Danberg’s dog, Jackson, also died of cancer in November.  I am convinced that environmental factors contributed, since were careful in the ways that we could control.

Regardless of what your landscaper might tell you, lawn pesticides do not disappear. They enter the ground water and circulate in the air.  We all drink this water and bathe in it.  We all breathe the air.

Knowing this, I am sure that you would agree that the health and safety of your children and pets, not to mention yourself and loved ones, is way more important than a greener lawn.

Please join us in promoting this cause that affects us all.

 

Submitted by Karen Andres

 

Safe ways to rid lawns of dandelions and crabgrass

Dandelions do well in compacted soil, so try using a core aerator (available for rental) and/or use a dandelion digger tool. To eradicate crabgrass, apply corn-gluten meal in early spring and aerate the soil. Also, have your soil tested by the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab. Lime or sulfur may be needed to adjust the pH. The lab can be reached at 413-545-2311, or by email at [email protected].  Orders may be sent to:

                UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab
                203 Paige Laboratory
                161 Holdsworth Way
                Amherst, MA  01003