Maintaining a Green Lawn

When the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act was passed in June 2009, the Ontario provincial government imposed a province-wide ban on the use of pesticides for cosmetic uses, for both residential and commercial applications. This legislation has changed our approach to how we care for lawns and gardens, and has encouraged us to find alternate strategies for maintaining a healthy and beautiful environment.

Without the use of pesticides for your lawns and gardens, alternative strategies will need to be introduced in order to maintain a healthy environment. An Environmental Management System (EMS) framework can help with strategies on maintaining an environmentally conscious lawn and garden. These strategies can also produce cost savings, promote innovation and improve environmental and human health by reducing pesticide use. These strategies are:

  • Soil Analysis: Soil analysis focuses on 6 major nutrients ((Nitrogen(N), Phosphorus(P), Potassium(K), Calcium(Ca), Magnesium(Mg), Sulfur(S)) and Soil pH. Analyzing soil will help to identify the reasons for poor soil conditions, such as over or under watering, turf diseases and pests, over or under fertilizing and other problems.
  • Fertilizing: Ensuring a balanced diet of N, P and K will result in a robust, disease and insect resistant turf.
  • Overseeding: Slit seeding, the process of slicing rows into the lawn and dropping seeds at a predetermined rate into the slits, usually results in high success rates.
  • Core Aeration: Core aeration physically removes cores of soil, leaving holes or cavities in the lawn. Core aeration improves nutrient and moisture absorption, promotes root development through reduced soil compaction and discourages thatch development.
  • Topdressing: By topdressing the lawn, the organic matter of the soil is increased. This enhances the soil’s ability to hold water. Topdressing also is used to fill in bare patches, enhance the lawn’s colour and density and to establish improved grass varieties.
  • Water Management & Irrigation: Daily watering will cause shallow root growth that reduces the durability of the turf, instead apply 1–2” of water per week. New technologies in irrigation systems exist and can reduce water use by 30%.

To find out more about EMS policies and strategies that may be applied to your condominium, commercial or residential property, read my article, Our Changing Environment, published in Condominium Manager Magazine, Spring 2009.

Gelderman Landscaping can effectively and successful implement Environmental Management System (EMS) framework suited to your property, contact us at nhelder@gelderman.com or 1-800-667-0644 for a free estimate and consultation.