Beaches|Life
Past Issues:

Healthy Non-Toxic Lawn & Garden

Using pesticides on our lawns and gardens is unnecessary and harms our environment and the health of our families and pets.

As kids grow, their small bodies are more sensitive to the effects of pesticides. As well, since they spend a lot of time playing outdoors, they have a greater chance of coming into contact with harmful pesticides.

This ban replaces any municipal bylaws and makes it the same across the province. Some exceptions to the ban do exist for health or safety reasons – such as removing poison ivy or controlling mosquitoes to prevent West Nile Virus.

You can help protect the environment by properly disposing your leftover pesticides. Never put pesticides in the garbage and never pour them down the drain where they could affect our drinking water and kill aquatic life.

To find out where you can drop off your pesticides, visit dowhatyoucan.ca.

Tips for Healthy Lawns

Having a green and healthy lawn takes a bit more planning, but it’s worth the effort. Try these steps to maintain your lawn…naturally! Here are a few tips to get you lawn growing:
Aerate: removing plugs of dirt from the lawn so that air, water and nutrients can reach the roots.

Overseed: keep your lawn thick and healthy by adding grass seed in the early spring and late fall.

Mow smarter: Cut your grass less often. Keeping the lawn between 6 and 8 cm high blocks out the light weeds need to germinate.

Feed it naturally: leave your lawn clippings on the lawn after you mow – they make an ideal fertilizer. Apply natural fertilizer.  Don’t over-fertilize.  It is best to use organic products such as finished compost and grass clippings that can be applied throughout the growing season.

Water wisely: your lawn needs only 2.5 cm of water a week. Water deeply and infrequently to promote deep roots. It is best to water in the morning.

Rake: Rake in the early spring to remove the dead grass, or thatch, that has built up.

Tips for Healthy Gardens

Whether you are planting flowers that bloom one season (annuals), plants that return every year (perennials) or vegetables, you can get strong and healthy plants without using pesticides. Here are some handy tips to grow a pesticide-free garden:

Mulching: Add mulch to your garden beds and around plants. Wood and compost mulches slowly break down and feed the soil.

Cleaning up: Pests thrive on and under old decaying material so clear dead or diseased material away.

Selecting the right plants: Know your climate zone and choose plants that suit the conditions.

Group plants according to water needs: Water new or young plants first, water less drought-tolerant areas next. On slopes, place drought-tolerant plants higher than those that need more water.

Encourage natural predators: Flowers attract bees and butterflies to pollinate your garden. Encourage natural predators like bats, toads, and birds by building bird feeders, bat-houses and installing bird baths.

Vegetable gardens: Don’t replant the same variety of vegetable in the same place two years in a row. Space plants apart to make sure they have lots of air circulation.

Amend the soil: Healthy plants need healthy soil. Be sure to add compost to your garden every fall and turn it into the beds in the spring.

Source: additupontario.ca