Answer: The Province of Ontario’s cosmetic pesticide ban prohibits the sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on lawns, gardens, parks and school yards, and includes many herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.
The best defense against weeds and insects is a thick healthy lawn. Try aeration, fertilizer and overseeding to promote a healthy lawn, and use weed control products as part of the process.
Aeration is singularly the best thing you can do for your lawn. It removes plugs of dense thatch and soil, creating spaces for air, water and nutrients to penetrate into the soil, helping reduce surface runoff, increase water absorption, and promote lawn density and the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
Fertilizers can make a lawn healthier and thicker. Remember to avoid any phosphorus to comply with the City of Greater Sudbury’s phosphorus bylaw. Spreading crushed limestone on the soil lowers acidity, and makes nutrients already in the soil more available to the turf grass.
Small pH (acidity) test kits are available for purchase from local garden centres. Also, leaving grass clippings on your lawn can make up 25 per cent of a lawn’s fertilizer requirement.
Include turfgrass species that are hardy and drought tolerant, like creeping red fescue, hard fescue and tall fescue.
Try to cut your lawn when it is cool. Cutting when it is very hot dehydrates the grass. Leave grass six to eight cm (two to three inches) tall and avoid mowing more than one-third of the grass blade at any one time.
Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day to reduce waste through evaporation. Established lawns generally require about 2.5 cm (one inch) of water. Place an empty tuna can on the lawn to measure this. Once the can is full, turn the water off.
Topsoil and compost
Topdressing involves spreading good quality topsoil or compost on top of the lawn, adding organic matter and improving soil condition. Add 0.6 to 1.2 cm (one-quarter to one-half inch) of topsoil or compost but don’t smother the grass blades.
Thanks to EarthCare Sudbury partners, the City of Greater Sudbury and Turf King - Turf Scapes for assistance in responding to this question.
EarthCare Sudbury is a network of over 130 local businesses, organizations, and agencies committed to helping Greater Sudbury become greener, cleaner, healthier and more sustainable.
Find out more about EarthCare Sudbury, our partners and how to get involved by visiting our website at greatersudbury.ca/earthcare.
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Posted by Vivian Scinto