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Late Blight

Issues dealing with vegetable production are not the normal fodder for this blog, but given that the number one question I'm getting from media callers these days concerns late blight, I want to weigh in with a couple of web sites. Late blight is a fungal disease that has been rampant on the Eastern Seaboard this year due to the cool temperatures and moist conditions. The same blight that caused the irish p ...

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SafeLawns in the News

Check out these two articles that appeared in the national media today: http://www.turfmagazine.com/article.php?id=3547 http://www.grist.org/article/2009-07-13-green-lawn-care-electric-mowers/ ...

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Pets & Pesticides

Here is an article, as promised in my weekly update to SafeLawns members, about a research project related to dogs and pesticides: Leading Animal Researcher Warns of Lawn Chemical Risks As professor of epidemiology and environmental medicine at Purdue University’s internationally renowned School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Lawrence Glickman is one of the world’s leading experts on dogs and their diseases. H ...

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Calling all Health & Environmental Groups

For the remainder of the summer, SafeLawns.org will be compiling a list of any and all health, environmental and civic groups that are interested in reducing pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the environment in North America. Our list, which will be posted on our web site, is more than 400 organizations strong at this point, but we know there are far more out there. If you know of any, please let us kn ...

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School Pesticide Scare

Recently, just as the school year was ending in Bristol, R.I., parents were alerted to the scariest moment of the year. A homeowner near the school was spraying an evergreen shrub with a commonly available pesticide known as malathion; the drift entered the school making several students and at least one teacher ill. While the teacher and students were rushed to the hospital by ambulance, the rest of the sc ...

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What About Nutsedge?

With all the excess moisture we've been getting along the Eastern Seaboard, one of the weeds gaining a major foothold is nutsedge, or what some call nutgrass. These thick-bladed plants, lighter green than most lawn grasses, thrive in waterlogged soil and their presence often indicates that drainage is poor, irrigation is too frequent, or sprinklers are leaky. Once established they will tolerate normal irrig ...

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Don’t Waste Water: Part V

I had a nice chat yesterday with Marnie Brennan of KBZZ, station 1270 AM in Reno, Nevada. She is a member of a growing legion of talk radio hosts who are spreading the organic message, one conversation at a time. Her enthusiasm was contagious. The subject of our conversation quickly turned to water. I guessed that Reno received about 10 inches of rainfall a year — we just had 6 in the month of June in Maine ...

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Advertising Claims

I get asked nearly every day about the latest, greatest advertising claims. This year the topsy turvy tomatoes are all the rage. My take: If Mother Nature intended tomatoes to grow upside down, they would already. Besides, you can grow tomatoes upside down if you want to and still not pay $19.95 for the privilege. It's a gimmick. The other big advertising push is for instant grass, year-round grass, no-mow ...

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Don’t Waste Water: Part IV

So far we've covered watering techniques and soil management for drought tolerance. A major factor in water management also comes with your choices of plants. Many lawn grasses are water guzzlers and, in many municipalities, folks are being discouraged from growing lawns altogether. It will never be the goal of SafeLawns to eliminate lawns entirely, but we do recognize that in many situations, better choice ...

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Shrinking Genitals & Lawn Chemicals?

OK, so I wanted to get your attention with that headline . . . but, sadly the correlation between pesticides and developmental abnormalities in boys and girls may be true. When you get the chance, check out this recent column in the New York Times: June 28, 2009 New York Times Op-Ed Columnist It's Time to Learn From Frogs By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Some of the first eerie signs of a potential health catastrophe ...

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