Trying to Do the Right Thing

April 29, 2008

Last night, Council voted to eliminate the cosmetic use of pesticides within the City of Guelph. There are exceptions, but for the most part, the days of indiscriminate spraying of pesticides on lawns in Guelph is over. Exceptions for insect infestation (grubs and chinch bugs) will end January 1, 2009.

The new pesticide-free Guelph will require a cultural and behavioural shift. I think this community is up for it – we’re a resourceful and responsible group!  So I will be joining the healthy lawn revolution too….

Although I would much rather tear up my lawn and create a lush Ontario native shade garden, the reality is that I still need a stretch of lawn. You see, I have three boys (and a daughter) and therefore, backyard soccer, badminton, volleyball and other lawn activities are still very much a part of our foreseeable future.

I’ve never sprayed pesticides on my lawn. But then again, I’ve never aspired to have the perfect lawn either. I’m okay with dandelions – they make great salad greens BTW – and the birds love the grubs.

This year, I have decided to try some of the techniques suggested by the City of Guelph “healthy lawn” education program to see if they make a difference. I completed the first step last week – dethatching and new “Eco-Lawn” seed with homemade compost. Thankfully, the rain soaked everything yesterday. So far so good….

LP