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Green Yard Care

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Pesticide Use and Control Grasscycling Xeriscaping Natural Solutions to Lawn and Garden Problems Invasive Plants Yard Trimmings and Kitchen Scraps Collection

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Green Yard Care


The use of cosmetic pesticides are banned in the City of Port Coquitlam following the adoption of the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw in June 2011, but there are many ways to create a sustainable yard and help protect your environment by using less water and avoiding the use of pesticides or chemicals. Steps to a healthy lawn and garden: 1. Grasscycling Mow high and regularly. Set mowing height to 2-2.5 inches (5-6 cm) and remove no more than one-third of the total grass length at each clipping. Mow often to help the grass develop deeper roots and crowd out the weeds. Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. Theyll help hold water and keep the soil aerated, and can supply up to 25% of your lawns nutrient needs. Use a mulching blade or mulching mower for finer clippings. More information on grasscycling. 2. Fertilize the natural way Use natural organic or slow release fertilizers look for the words natural organic or slow release on the bag. They feed the lawn slowly, and less is wasted through leaching or runoff. Fertilize moderately in early September and mid-to-late May (if you opt to fertilize only once, do it in the fall). Local turfgrass experts recommend home lawns receive 3-4 lbs. of nitrogen in a balanced fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn each year. 3. Water thoroughly but infrequently Water about one inch per week (depth of a tuna can) during July and August, and less in the late spring and early fall; let the weather be your guide. Avoid frequent shallow watering, which leads to shallow rooting grasses do better when the whole root zone is wetted then allowed to partially dry between waterings. Overwatering can promote lawn disease, leach nutrients into the soil, and waste water. Water slowly, or start and stop, so the water penetrates rather than puddling or running off. Make sure to follow the annual sprinkling regulations from June 1 to September 30. 4. Aerate and overseed Aerate compacted soil in the spring or fall to improve root development. After raking or aerating, overseed with a perennial rye/fine fescue mix designed for local conditions. If your soil is very poor and compacted, it may be best to fix the soil and replant. 5. Take a natural approach to weeds

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Green Yard Care Crowd out weeds and reduce pest damage by creating a healthy, robust lawn through proper fertilization, watering and grasscycling. Pull dandelions and other weeds when theyre young, removing as much root as possible. Accept a few weeds in your lawn. Some, like clover, may look fine. Target the problem weeds, removing them by hand in the spring and fall (or use a pincer-type long-handled weed puller, available at most garden stores). 6. Consider alternatives to lawns Consider alternatives to lawns for steep slopes, shady areas, or near streams and lakes. Grass grows best on well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade, and steep slopes are hard to mow and water. Leave a buffer of natural vegetation along streams and lakes to help filter pollutants and protect fish and wildlife. 7. Save water by xeriscaping Xeriscape landscapes require less water, less fertilizer, less pruning and less mowing, leaving more time for you to enjoy the garden rather than work in it. Xeriscaping involves using plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate. In addition, care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off. Learn more about xeriscaping. Other resources: Learn natural solutions to common lawn and garden problems. Learn how to compost your yard trimmings in your green cart or backyard composter. Learn why you should avoid pesticides. See what you can do about invasive plant species. Download Metro Vancouvers 36-page Natural Yard Care booklet (PDF).

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