Healthy Lawns

Five Steps for a Healthy, Pesticide-Free Lawn

1. Take leftover pesticides to an authorized depot

There are many depots in the region that accept pesticides, including Hartland Landfill. Read more

2. Mow high

Mow on a high setting (3 inches or 7.5 cm) to crowd out weeds and conserve soil moisture. Keeping your mower’s blades sharp will also prevent lawn pests.

3. Leave grass clippings on the lawn

"Grass-cycle” by leaving grass clippings on the lawn, or set your mower on a mulch setting to provide a natural fertilizer and retain moisture. Grass clippings can supply 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizer needs every time you mow. If needed, feed with compost, as it provides essential nutrients, retains moisture and lasts longer than chemical fertilizers.

4. Water wisely

Water only 1 inch (2.5 cm) per week, including rain. Longer, infrequent watering helps develop deeper, healthier roots that resist disease. Water in the early morning to reduce evaporation.

5. Aerate and de-thatch as needed

Aerating promotes water retention and air circulation. You can aerate simply by puncturing your lawn with a garden fork or by renting a power aerator. Top dress with compost in the spring or fall. Re-seed where necessary.

Thatch is the organic layer that forms between the blades of grass and soil. A thin layer of thatch helps retain moisture, but too much thatch can be harmful. To de-thatch gently rake your lawn in late spring, or use a de-thatching attachment on your mower or a de-thatching machine.

Other Tips

  • Location - Ensure you have the best grass and soil for the area and climate (adequate drainage and sufficient organic matter content is just as important for lawns as gardens).

  • Variety - Use a variety of grasses that can tolerate a range of growing conditions, for both sun and shade.

  • Acidity - Ensure the pH of your soil is between 6.0 and 7.0 (add agricultural lime to raise pH, peat moss or sulphur to lower it).