Letter: Spring brings choices

Published: 4/8/2020 12:01:24 AM

In addition to the virus news, there are beginning to be articles and ads related to gardening and yard work in the media. Please use caution with some of your choices.

Mulch: An excellent program on Maine public radio last year was very informative about mulch, a product used extensively by homeowners and businesses. Apparently, some products consist of shredded construction debris which is then dyed. This concoction can contain a number of toxic chemicals whose names I now forget except for arsenic. I would certainly never choose to use this product anywhere near my home, family, pets or wildlife. Be informed about what you purchase.

Plants: Many plants from nurseries, especially blooming plants that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, are sprayed with chemicals such as neonicotinoids. According to a catalog from the Prairie Moon Nursery, “neonicotinoids are systemic chemicals that are absorbed into the plant’s vascular system, leaving the entire plant toxic to both target and non-target insects.” Even if one does not appreciate butterflies and other beneficial insects, there is no doubt that we need pollinators in order to grow many crops. Please ask before you buy. Growing your own plants is rewarding. Organically grown seeds are available in many stores now. Good luck and happy gardening.

P.S.: Remember preying mantises? I know I will have been successful if I see one of these amazing critters again someday.



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