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Till Son Burgh Nee Moil Healthy Lawn Version 2

Till Son Burgh Nee Moil Healthy Lawn Version 2

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Published by: uncleadolph on Dec 05, 2011
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12/05/2011

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Tillsonburg’s Guide to a Healthy Lawnand Garden Without Pesticides
Contents
Q & A’s about Pesticide Use
Lawn Care
Steps to a Healthy Lawn
Dealing with Weeds on your Lawn
Dealing with Insects on your Lawn
Tried and True Alternatives to Pesticides
Commercial Products
Oxford County Seasonal Lawn Care Schedule
A message from the Mayor:
Dear Tillsonburg Residents: We all want to have a nice looking lawn and garden. In the past, this may have involved using pesticides to manage weed and insect problems. This booklet offers  you advice about how to have an attractive lawn and garden without using chemicals and provides suggestions about alternatives to conventional pesticides. We all want to do the right thing.Please take a few moments to review this booklet and to adopt some, if not all of its suggestions.Stephen Molnar Mayor Town of Tillsonburg 
Q & A’s about Pesticide Use
1.
Why should I eliminate the use of pesticides?
Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides used inchemical lawn and garden care are designed tokill living organisms. It should therefore come asno surprise that these very items can have aharmful effect on the health of animals and humans. However, chemical treatments are not a prerequisite to realizing a beautiful lawn and garden. Organic gardening methods can produceequally impressive results and use no synthetic products. The following guidelines should help you keep your lawn and garden green and healthy.
 
 
2. Can I still have a full green lawn without pesticides?
Yes! Lush, green lawns are often chemically dependent, andtherefore prone to disease. The goal is for people to have safe,healthy lawns and gardens that aren’t dependent on chemicals for their appearance. Many lawn care companies and garden centresnow specialize in organic gardening and non-chemical alternativesand can offer expert advice and service.
3. Do “Weed and Feed” products contain pestitcides?
Yes, Even though their packaging looks pretty tame, “Weed andFeed” products are especially hazardous because herbicides areapplied over the entire lawn, not just where weeds are present. Also,they take a long time to break down, continually exposing humans,animals, birds and insects.
4.. What do I do if I have a serious pest problem I can’t deal withorganically?
Tillsonburg has not yet passed any by-laws restricting the use of pesticides. Contact your local lawn care service provider so theymay help deal with the problem using the least amount of pesticidespossible.
Books you can buy and may be available at the TillsonburgPublic Library:
Real Gardeners’ True Confessions, Pat Stone Editor Dead Daisies Make Me Crazy, Lorren Nancarow & Janet HoganTaylor Insect Disease & Weed ID Guide, J. Cebauko & D. Martin, ed.The Chemical-Free Lawn, Warren SchultzHow to Get Your Lawn & Garden Off Drugs, Carole RubinHow to Get Your Lawn Off Grass, Carole Rubin
Lawn CareSteps to a Healthy Lawn1. Mow high – grass makes food through its leaves
.• 2” is an absolute minimum, 3” is best• long grass blades keep their roots cool, shade out weeds, making itharder for them to grow – never cut more than 1/3 the height at asingle mowing• only cut when grass is dry and make sure the mower blades aresharp• leave clippings on the grass, because it reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizer • consider installing a mulching blade on your mower 
2. Water deeply and seldom ( Depending on Soil)
• Kentucky bluegrass needs 1” of water a week, fescues andperennial rye grasses need half this much depending on soil.• frequent light waterings cause shallow, weak roots, leading todormancy during the first dry spell• consult your lawn care professional about over seeding with a moredrought tolerant grass mixture
3. Aerate and over seed
• aeration gives roots room to grow, helps nutrients and water reachthe roots, gets oxygen into the soil, and helps reduce compaction• for in-town lawns, it probably takes an hour or so to do, so splitrental cost with a neighbour ($50 half day), many lawn carecompanies offer this service• compacted soils encourage dandelions and plantain• aerate once a year, the best time is between May and June, whenground is still soft and there are fewer weed seeds blowing around• rake smooth and over seed with fescue or perennial rye
 
• avoid rolling your lawn as this increases compaction aerating twiceper year reduces or eliminates the amount of dethatching.
4. Get rid of the thatch
• thatch is grass stems, shoots and roots (not clippings) on thesurface of the soil that are not breaking down.• the best time to dethatch your lawn is in the fall. Get rid of it byusing a heavy rake or a special tool you can find at garden supplystore but the best way is with a dethatching unit.• some thatch is okay, but anything over 1/2 inch can lead toproblems.• thatch is a perfect haven for insects and disease, and preventsmoisture from reaching the roots of your grass, making it moresusceptible to drought.
5. Fertilize in the fall, only once a year.
• don’t over fertilize because it weakens the grass• it is important to fertilize because turf that is starving for nutrients ismore liable to be damaged and less likely to recover from pestdamage• where possible look for organic fertilizer 
6. Build up your soil, especially if you live in a new development
• grass needs at least 6” of good well draining top soil• make sure soil pH is between 6.0 and 6.5, the optimum range for taking up nutrients• topdress with compost whenever you over seed and over time youwill improve the quality of the soil in your lawn as well as increase itsdepth.
Dealing with Weeds in Your Lawn
Despite what the ads say, a great looking lawn doesn’t necessarilymean weed free. A healthy lawn has some weeds. Think about it -how often in nature have you ever seen an area where only a singlespecies of plant thrives?Think back to our grandparent’s lawns. They were made up with awide variety of grasses often including clover. Do you ever remember anyone talking about grubs or chinch bugs back then?
Weeding
Hand weeding can be a very satisfying activity, especially if youdo it after a rain when the soil is moist and the roots come up easier.
Boiling water 
This is a great solution to deal with those pesky weeds that pop up inpavement or sidewalk cracks. Simply take a kettle of boiling water and pour it over the weeds. Be careful to ensure the boiling water doesn’t run into any areas where there are plants or grass that you’dlike to keep.
Sour Power - Vinegar 
Known in the past weed killing abilities, use of vinegar as anherbicide is getting a revival. Depending on the percentage of aceticacid (you can get up to 25% acetic acid), vinegar can kill weedsentirely following a single treatment. Pour into a spray bottle andspritz the leaves of the weed you want to get rid of. Be careful not tospray grass or plants you want to keep, as vinegar kills whatever 

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