I was surprised by the fact that Andrew Messinger’s crabgrass article [“The Great Imposter,” Residence, April 9 & 10] recommends the use of herbicides. That he differentiates between “pre-emergents” and “post-emergents” does not take into account the fact that all pesticides and herbicides introduce toxic chemicals into our environment. These poisons threaten the purity of our drinking water because they enter our underground aquifers, the only source of drinking water on Long Island. Organic methods are mentioned in the article, but are presented in a way that sounds terribly daunting and so acts to discourage those who might want to try non-toxic approaches.
Local environmental groups as well as some of our municipalities have been attempting for years to educate the public about the dangers of using chemicals on our lawns and gardens. Not only does it affect the drinking water, but children and pets that play on these toxic green lawns are most directly exposed because they’re closer to the ground and frequently ingest what they’ve touched. East Hampton Town was so concerned about the effect of pesticides and herbicides that it passed a resolution in 2000 forbidding the use of these chemicals, for cosmetic purposes, on town-owned land.
One way to eliminate crabgrass is to eliminate large lawns. For those who must have these lawns, every effort should be made to encourage the use of organic methods. Developing a tolerance for some crabgrass wouldn’t hurt either. I think The Press would be doing our community a service by printing a weekly column on organic gardening. To encourage the use of toxic chemicals is unwise.
SUE AVEDONCo-chair Natural Resources CommitteeLeague of Women Voters of the Hamptons