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Town uses variety of methods to combat spring dandelions

April 28, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Some people enjoy the sight of dandelions popping up in the spring with their yellow flowers contrasting against green grass.

For others, they are the bane of a well planted and manicured lawn and seem to grow no matter what you do to control them.

The Town of New Tecumseth takes care in maintaining its lawns and landscaping. Town staff maintain hundreds of areas of grass in open spaces and parks.

Dandelions are a perennial weed, growing rapidly over two to three weeks in the spring with a second rapid period of grown in late summer.

This can mean even freshly-mowed grass can sometimes look neglected within a couple of days.

In 2009, the provincial government passed the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, which banned the sale and use of more than 250 products and 80 pesticide ingredients.

The Town has adapted an “Integrated Plant Health Care” strategy to increase the heartiness of grass and prevent weed growth where possible.

In early spring, staff take a number of proactive steps to combat dandelion growth without the use of pesticides.

This includes timing grass cutting and frequency to reduce the number of weeds that spread seeds.

Grass is mowed at a height of three inches to promote stronger grass roots and create shade at the soil level. High-traffic grass areas are fertilized an aerated more often.

In garden and shrub areas, mulch is used to help retain water and prevent weed seeds from coming in contact with soil.

To reduce maintenance requirements, more trees and fewer shrubs are being planted in new developments.

In areas where these methods are not practical, Town staff will manually remove weeds.

Weed killers for home use are still available, however they do not have the same effectiveness as previous products. You can try some home remedies that do work to some degree – like vinegar and soap – but if you really want to keep a green lawn, you may have to get out there and use some old-fashioned elbow grease to remove them with your garden tools.

By Brian Lockhart

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