Organic Alternatives to Harmful Pesticides

Confused about the new Manitoba regulations for the control of weeds? The Environment Amendment Act states: “No person shall use or cause or permit the use of a prescribed pesticide in, on or over a lawn” and “No person shall use or cause or permit the use of a prescribed pesticide in, on, or over the exterior property of a school, hospital or child care centre”. The legislation applies to lawns and adjoining areas (sidewalks, driveways and patios) of residential, commercial, government and institutional properties.


www.gov.mb.ca


No longer will Manitobans be allowed to apply popular chemical products containing 2-4 D amine on their lawns for the purpose of killing broadleaf weeds. The highly effective chemical for controlling weeds will no longer be used by your lawn care companies. However, there are many allowable herbicide products in Manitoba, such as Fiesta®.


Lawn Boys Ltd. has created 3 programs that safely reduce weed population using Fiesta® and slow release fertilizers. What's more, we also use annual aerations, which reduce weed population by encouraging turf root growth and reducing compaction, improving water uptake and controlling thatch.


Organic Alternative Weed Management Program

This program aims at reducing weeds by using proper cultural practices to create a healthy turf with deep roots, which will push out pests. Aeration encourages turf root growth by reducing compaction, controlling thatch levels and improving water and nutrient uptake. At the same time as the aeration, we apply a healthy amount of premium grass seed to create new growth. With proper watering and mowing this step will create a thicker turf.


Once the lawn is established, we will come back in 4 weeks to apply a slow release fertilizer, which will feed your lawn throughout the growing season.


The prices start at $175 for a 3000 sq ft lawn. Add an additional fall fertilizer for an extra $40.


Healthy Lawn Tips

Watering

Improper watering is a major cause of diseases and insect problems in Canadian lawns. For better grass growth, you should:

  • Water early morning for 1-1.5 hours per area
  • Water deeply once per week

However, each summer neighbours watch neighbours water their lawns throughout the day and evening, moving the sprinklers to a new spot every half an hour. This ritual does more harm than good. Frequent shallow watering promotes shallow roots, which reduces the ability of the plant to resist stress. You should always water long enough to allow a deep soaking to the roots. If your lawn is large, establish a watering rotation schedule, soaking sections each day.


Timing is important. Don’t water in the evenings: the sod will remain wet throughout the cool of the night, promoting fungus and disease. Watering during hot summer will evaporate and can burn the grass.


Mowing

Most lawns are mowed too short and too often. If frequent and close mowing is combined with other stresses such as drought, insufficient nutrients, or unusually hot or cold spells, grass plants become smaller in size and less dense. Thinning provides openings for undesirable weed species. Remember to:

  • Mow at a height of 2.5-3 inches. Higher during heat
  • Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade
  • Mulch during growing season
  • Make sure lawn mower blade is sharp

Why Aerate?

Aeration creates a stronger root system and makes it difficult for weeds to grow. We strongly recommend annual core aeration. This process helps your lawn breathe easier, promotes root growth and allows water and nutrients to penetrate more easily and controls thatch. Healthy turf has healthy roots. However, good root growth cannot be achieved in compacted soil. Core aeration extracts small cores of soil and thatch from your root zone to promote deeper, stronger roots and a thicker healthier lawn. A thick, healthy lawn makes it difficult for weeds to grow.


Spring Lawn Care Tips

Your first few mowings should be done at a lower setting. This allows sun, water and nutrients to get to the roots system, and start creating growth. Raise mowing height every couple weeks.


Water two to three times per week in the morning. You can grab a water timer from the store to help out with this. Also, placing a tuna can in the path of the sprinkler can help you determine when an area has received enough water. When the can is full, that area has received enough.


Always make sure that your lawn mower blade is sharp. A dull blade leads to tearing of the grass blade. Tearing will damage the turf and give it a slightly yellow look.


If you're interested in alternative weed management, contact our specialist for more information!


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