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Pesticide-Free Organic Lawn Care for the Lazy Homeowners

Submitted by Jasmina on Thu, 2008-09-04 08:29.
2008-09-09 19:00
2008-09-09 20:30

A healthy lawn will out-compete weeds, be less susceptible to insect problems and shouldn’t need pesticides. To help you get started, York Region Environmental Alliance and Town of Richmond Hill Pesticide Reduction Strategy Initiatives organize a workshop called “Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap & Lazy” at Elgin West Community Centre. Please call (905) 771-5509 to register as space is limited.

Tips for Growing Healthy Lawns without Pesticides

  • In the spring and fall before fertilizing, topdressing and over-seeding, remove any thatch and core aerate your lawn with a mechanical aerator to reduce soil compaction and encourage deeper rooting.
  • Fertilize your lawn in the spring and fall with a slow release natural fertilizer (compost or corn gluten meal).
  • Top-dress your lawn with compost and a mixture of hardy, drought tolerant and pest resistant grass seed mix. Consider using mixtures of perennial ryegrass, fescues, clover and native grasses and wildflowers.
  • Mow your lawn high (8 cm) to produce thicker blades of grass. Be sure to leave the clippings as an added source of nutrients and moisture.
  • Water your lawn infrequently. Apply only 2.5 cm of water early in the morning once a week.
  • Monitor your lawn for signs of potential pest problems. Understanding the lifecycles of various pests is necessary to help you decide if and when remedial action is needed.
  • Test your soil using a do-it-yourself test kit to determine pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium levels. Appropriate levels are vital for proper plant growth.

Online resources on Healthy Gardens & Water Efficient Landscaping

  • Download your “A Healthy Lawn, A Healthy Family” brochure from Pesticide Reduction Guidelines for Lands Owned by the Regional Municipality of York web site!
  • More Tips and answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available at Health Canada’s Healthy Lawn web site.
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Landscaping publications provide attractive, low-maintenance solutions:
    1. Low-Maintenance Lawns – will help you reduce the time, costs, water, pesticides, fertilizer and energy used to maintain lawns. This fact sheet describes the benefits and provides practical tips on how to install and maintain low maintenance lawns, including species selection.
    2. Water-Saving Tips For Your Lawn And Garden – will help you cope with summer drought conditions.
  • Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) offers a booklet “Beautiful Lawns and Gardens through Water-Efficient Landscaping”. By following the 8 easy steps in this booklet, you can create a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape that is environmentally responsible, practical, attracts birds and butterflies, and saves time and money, too.
  • York Region’s Water For Tomorrow site offers a FREE Water Efficient Landscape Audit. York Region residents who arrange it will receive a water-wise gardening kit that includes plant lists, gardening fact-sheets, a rain gauge, plant seeds, discount coupons from participating garden centres and more!


Elgin West Community Centre, Palisade Room
11099 Bathurst Street
Richmond Hill, L4C 0N2
See map: Google Maps