Keeping weeds out of your life and out of your lawn can be a struggle anywhere, and especially here in Southern Ontario. You want a lawn you can be proud of without overusing particular products or using something ineffective. Here’s the scoop on weed control for a thick, green weed-free lawn.
The Legal (and Illegal) Products in Ontario
Ontario prohibits the use of Class 9 pesticides on home lawns and gardens, because of potential threats to health of children and others. It’s important to familiarize yourself with this list, as well as some Class 7 pesticides that require reading an information sheet and recording how much you purchased. The Class 5, 6, and most of 7 pesticides are allowable; some of these help to remove poisonous weeds like poison ivy, so it is good to know which might be helpful in your weed control efforts.
Weed Prevention: Broadleafs, Mosses, Dandelions
The Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation provides a lot of helpful information on the kinds of weeds prevalent in lawns, as well as when and how to treat them. For different lawn issues, you’ll want to choose a different solution. For instance, to prevent crabgrass and broadleaf weeds before they start, consider using corn gluten meal on established lawns early in the Spring. Iron chelate will treat a wide range of Broadleafs, but should only be used on actively growing weeds.
For the persistent dandelion problem, they recommend Sclerotinia minor, which may be available to you through landscaping companies. Lastly, if mosses are your main lawn pest, Ferrous Sulfate and Fatty Acid are both options, but make sure you understand the details of application. Any of these weed control substances can also kill other parts of your lawn if not applied correctly.
For large, extremely entrenched weeds, it is often better to pull them than to try to use enough of a pesticide to kill that particular weed. Overseeding the lawn is also a step toward keeping the grass you prefer thriving so that it can fight some of the weeds itself. Specifically, if you remove patches of weeds like moss or dandelions, add compost and new grass seed to make sure that those thin or bare areas are able to grow back with grass rather than new opportunistic weeds.