Green Gardening and Lawn Care
What we put on our lawns and in our gardens can have negative impacts on nearby waterways, lakes and water sources. We live in a city of lakes, so it’s important to adopt the most environmentally-friendly practices when taking care of your garden and lawn.
Organic Lawn Care
Organic lawn care differs from chemical-based lawn care by focusing on maintaining a healthy soil rather than just feeding the grass with synthetic nutrients. Below are a few tips to help you grow a beautiful lawn naturally!
- Assess your need for a large lawn. Lawns are typically high maintenance whereas natural vegetation is not.
- Have your soil analysed by a local lab to learn the soil's pH and whether it lacks in any nutrients. Then you won’t need to guess what you should add to your lawn. You can purchase soil pH kits at local gardening stores.
- Aerate your lawn, especially if the soil is compacted.
- Sharpen mower blades yearly to avoid leaf tearing caused by a dull blade, which can make the grass more sensitive to disease and pest infestations.
- Cut grass to 6-8 cm (2.5-3 inches), and do not cut off more than one-third of the stalk or you risk shocking the plant, leaving it more vulnerable to disease and pest infestations.
- Over-seed your lawn to make it thicker, which helps crowd out weeds.
- Try grass recycling to improve your lawn.
- Water only when grass needs it, not on a regular schedule. Lawns require only about 2.5 cm of water a week. Excessive watering can lead to poor growing conditions and disease.
- Use a zero-phosphate fertilizer as your general use lawn fertilizer. Learn more about our Lawn Fertilizer By-Law.
- Plant native plants in areas where grass just doesn't seem to want to grow.
- To control weeds, apply corn gluten meal or CGM, a natural pre-emergence herbicide, in early spring right after the snow melts.
- Hire a company committed to organic lawn care.
There are plenty of environmentally-friendly things you can do to reduce water use while keeping your yard and garden in great shape
- Use plants that require little water for outdoor landscaping (xeriscaping) and develop low-maintenance lawns.
- Use a rain barrel for landscaping needs.
- Create a rain garden on your property.
- Use permeable surfaces for your driveway or walkway.
- Ensure your eaves trough is disconnected from the storm sewer system. Connect the eaves to a rain barrel.