Get a Greener Pesticide Free Lawn Iqaluit NU
Get a Greener Pesticide Free Lawn
(NC)-When Ontario's new pesticide ban takes effect next spring, these ten green steps, courtesy of Pesticide Free Ontario, will get your lawn in shape - and pesticide-free!
1. Choose drought-tolerant grass seed and spread it on your lawn every fall (over-seed). A thick lawn crowds out weeds.
2. Discourage weeds by keeping your lawn mower blade at a height of 7 cm (3 inches). Never cut off more than one-third of the grass stem at a time.
3. Leave your grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil. This will reduce your need for fertilizer by 30%. Clippings are mainly water, so they add moisture to your lawn.
4. Once a year in the fall, use a slow-release granular fertilizer or apply a top layer of natural organic matter such as compost.
5. Once a year, remove small plugs of earth to allow air and water to get to the roots. A pesticide-free lawn will encourage earthworms, nature's aerators.
6. Let your lawn soak up 2-3 cm (1 inch) of water, once a week, early in the morning, to promote deep root growth. If it has rained, adjust your watering. Use a rain gauge to measure water levels.
7. Thatch, a thick compacted layer of dead plants and grass, attracts harmful insects. Too much thatch stops water and nutrients from getting to the roots. Remove thatch by gently raking your lawn in late spring or early summer. Aerate. To prevent thatch, don't over water or over fertilize.
8. Develop a tolerance for a few weeds and insects. Most insects are NOT harmful. Some are important to our environment.
9. Dig out weeds and their roots by hand. Pour boiling water on weeds that are growing between patio stones. Use a stick or your hands to knock unwanted insects off plants into a dish of soapy water.
10. Consider alternatives to grass, such as trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, and wild flowers (native species work best).
Further information is available online at www.ontario.ca/greenthumb