Residents can have a beautiful, healthy lawn without pesticides by practising natural lawn care. A provincial ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides replaces all pesticide bylaws in Ontario.

Ontario's cosmetic pesticides ban took effect April 22, 2009. The requirements of the ban are detailed in Ontario Regulation 63/09 made under the Pesticides Act, which has been amended by the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008.

For more information

Questions about the ban can be directed to the Ministry of the Environment's Public Information Centre at 1-800-565-4923 or 416-325-4000.

Several fact sheets are available on the Ministry's website for specific audiences, as well as a general fact sheet about the regulation and suggestions on caring for lawns and gardens with greener alternatives.

Refer to the Ministry of the Environment's website http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/category/pesticides/index.htm

How can I maintain a beautiful lawn and garden?

Under normal conditions, a healthy lawn shouldn't need pesticides.  A few easy steps, such as enriching soil with compost, spreading grass seed in the spring and fall, keeping grass at a healthy height and watering deeply but less frequently, can go a long way toward crowding out weeds and encouraging healthy growth.

Build the soil with compost and mulches.  Planting a variety of flowering plants will attract birds, ladybugs and other natural enemies of plant pests.

Quick Tips

  • Cut grass at a height of no less than 6 - 8 cm (2.5 - 3 inches) to develop a deep root system to better retain water and for a thicker lawn that will crowd out weeds.
  • Leave the grass clippings on the lawn as they are a great source of slowly released nitrogen and add humus to the soil.
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week in the morning on your lawn is all that is needed.  A healthy lawn can survive several weeks of drought.
  • Aerating allows for better flow of water, air and nutrients to the plant root.  This is best done in the fall prior to over seeding and top dressing.
  • Compost can be added to lawn and gardens as a good source of organic matter and nutrients and to help hold moisture in the soil.  A variety of grass seed can tolerate a range of growing conditions and is less susceptible to pest damage.

Additional Information

Health Canada:  http://www.healthylawns.net/

Organic Landscape Alliance:  http://www.organiclandscape.org/

Gardening Advice:  http://www.gardenersnet.com/