Attack of the Dandelions

Dandelions Attack
Back in December 2007, City Council passed Bylaw No. 2008-28, which effectively banned the cosmetic application of chemical pesticides on public and private property after October 15th, 2008. That means that this Spring and Summer will be your last chance to eradicate dandelions and thistles with your favorite carcinogenic lawn spray. After the Bylaw officially comes into effect, pesticide addicts could face fines of as much as $100,000 just to keep their grass green. This is the major concern we hear voiced throughout the city, as many wonder how they’re supposed to keep the grass green, and the weeds at bay without Monsanto’s help?

The City has officially embraced reputable studies by organizations such as the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment & Sustainable Development (ENVI), The Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Council of Physicians for the Environment.  All of which have identified potential links between pesticide exposure and a variety of undesirable health issues in adults, children, pets as well as negative impacts to our natural environment. Although the lawns, parks and puppies are protected, somehow city officials neglected to include golf courses and the “red hot” lawn bowling facilities, which are still permitted to use Round Up and the like.  It kind of brings a new meaning to the term “green fees”, but hopefully they’ll be forced to come around.

Since the weather has sprung, we’ve noticed many people out tending to their gardens and lawns. While it’s a bit early for dandelions, the weeds are already poking through the ground after a long cold winter. The City of Kingston website offers numerous tips pertaining to Natural Lawn and Garden Care, which range from aeration to fertilization and recycling grass trimmings. In addition, the site suggests a wide range of products including vinegar and soap, which can assist in ridding your greenspace of pests and unwanted vegetation.  According to numerous sources, the best way to get rid of uninvited plant life, is to let your grass grow a bit higher than you’re used to so that it starves weeds of precious sunlight.

There are so many way to cultivate a healthy lawn out there, and this bylaw is a great step in ensuring that that we get with the times. With any luck, people will explore and embrace alternatives, which will help benefit Kingston as a whole. Do you have any lawn and gardening tips that fit the eco-friendly bill? If so, be sure to drop a comment in the hat, as our April contest is ends in less than a week.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

One thought on “Attack of the Dandelions

  • I gave corn gluten meal a whirl last year and I’m quite pleased with it. It’s a by-product of the corn milling process and a completely non-toxic fertilizer and pre-emergent weed killer. In fact, the bag warns you not to seed your lawn within six weeks of application or the seed won’t germinate.

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