Editor: When are we going to put our families ahead of our lawns? The spraying of noxious substances on our lawns has been denounced by the Canadian Medical Society, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the P.E.I. Medical Society, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club of Canada.
Here are a few natural weed controls one can apply to their lawns:
Dig dandelions manually with a Fiskal picker, fertilize with 10-10-10 (Agro Co-Op) in the spring, over seed with new grass seed at the same time, lime in the fall, always mulch the leaves and leave the mulch on the lawn.
For spot treatment of weeds, use a vinegar-based spray but not the whole lawn. Corn gluten (Phillip's Feeds) is supposed to control dandelions from germinating but you have to apply it as soon as the snow disappears, and it also stops new grass seedlings from germinating, so you'd have to wait to overseed the barren areas with grass seed.
For controlling chinch bugs and June beetles use a biological insecticide from Halifax Seeds. Look for “nematodes” or “entomopathogenic nematodes” on their website.
For insect control on vegetables and ornamentals, spray with soapy water. Crushed eggshells help to keep the slugs at bay.
Dr. Roger Gordon, retired UPEI biologist, presented this information in an article in the 2013 Stratford Town Talk entitled “Why Cosmetic Pesticides Are A Bad Idea:”
Long-term effects include: impaired blood clotting; impaired immune system; genetic damage; linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.
Lastly, cosmetic spraying has been used to achieve perfection in our surrounding – but no one needs a perfect lawn. We need clean air to breathe and clean water to drink in order to stay healthy. Continued spraying will negate both of these.
Let's not be “P.E.I. The Pesticide Province”.