Let it Bee Pesticide Free and Grow Green in Port Coquitlam
With more people spending time in their yards, Port Coquitlam is reminding residents to “grow green” and opt for chemical-free methods to protect their family and pollinators.
The good news is that it’s easy to grow a healthy lawn and garden without cosmetic pesticides and herbicides, which have been banned in Port Coquitlam for almost a decade.
Tips and information are posted at www.portcoquitlam.ca/growgreen, including natural alternatives to chemicals, water conservation tips, pollinator support and details about the city’s pesticide regulations.
Chemical products like weed-killers not only have the potential to harm people and pets, but can have far-reaching effects on our food supply and environment because they kill off bees, butterflies and other pollinators that keep plants, crops and fruit trees growing.
Gardeners can support the local bee population by avoiding chemicals, adding pollinator-friendly plants to their gardens – for example, those with flowers with long bloom times – and creating nesting sites. More bee-friendly information and resources are available at www.portcoquitlam.ca/growgreen.
The website is also provides information about these methods for creating a healthy and safe lawn and garden:
- Grasscycling – mow high and often. Set the mowing height to 2-2.5 inches and remove no more than one-third of the total grass length at each clipping. Leave the clippings on the lawn to retain moisture and provide nutrients.
- Fertilize the natural way – use natural or slow-release fertilizers that feed the lawn slowly. Fertilize moderately in early September and mid-to-late May.
- Water thoroughly but infrequently – your lawn only needs about one inch of water per week in July and August, and less in the summer months. Frequent shallow watering promotes shallow roots.
- Aerate and overseed – aerate compacted soil in the spring or fall to improve root development. Overseed with a perennial rye/fine fescue mix designed for local conditions.
- Take a natural approach to weeds – crowd out weeds and reduce pest damage by creating a healthy lawn through proper fertilization, watering and grasscycling. Pull dandelions and other weeds when they’re young, removing as much root as possible. Accept a few “weeds” in your lawn, such as clover, and target problem weeds by removing by hand in the spring or fall.
- Choose local plants (also known as xeriscaping) – select plants suited for the local climate to save water and time.
- Consider turf alternatives – particularly for steep slopes, shady areas and narrow strips. Options include low-maintenance plants such as Dutch white clover, brass buttons, Irish or Scotch moss, little star creeper, creeping thyme, goldmoss stonecrop or microclover.
A healthy and resilient lawn is also the best defence against the European Chafer beetle. For information and videos on how to reclaim your lawn from a beetle infestation, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/chaferbeetle.
Port Coquitlam’s Pesticide Use Control Bylaw bans the non-essential use of cosmetic pesticides for maintaining outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, other ornamental plants or turf on both private residential or City land.
The bylaw applies to insecticides, herbicides and fungicides used on all residential land and carries a fine of $100 if paid within 14 days ($150 after that). Bylaw details and exceptions are posted at www.portcoquitlam.ca/pesticides.
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533