Grow Healthy, Grow Smart
This program is a joint initiative between the Township of Langley and LEPS to educate residents about the benefits of reducing cosmetic pesticide use. Cosmetic pesticides can be used to improve the appearance of lawns and gardens by controlling unwanted weeds and insects. Because there are dangers associated with the use of cosmetic pesticides, their use is becoming less accepted. Many municipalities and a few provinces have banned their use. You can have a healthy lawn and garden easily without the use of chemicals.
Feeding your soil is a very important step because out of healthy soil grows healthy plants. One of the most balanced fertilizers you can use is the compost from your backyard compost bin or worm bin. If you need more compost than your bin can provide, visit the manure link website where gardeners are able to connect with farmers.
Many “Weed & Feed” products contain the active ingredient 2,4-D. This chemical is a selective herbicide, killing broad leaf weeds. 2,4-D can have many negative effects on the human body including effects on hormones, the immune system, male reproduction, and birth defects in infants. In the environment, 2,4-D is extremely toxic to fish. The solution? Try grasscycling and spread a layer of compost over your lawn as fertilizer and encourage help your lawn to out-compete the weeds. Over-seeding with a proper lawn seed mix is important. If your lawn is shaded in some areas, consider a seed mix with shade tolerant grasses such as Academy perennial rye and Libano chewing fescue.
Not all bugs are bad. A single adult ladybird beetle (ladybug) will eat thousands of aphids during its lifetime and ladybird beetles can produce up to 6 generations per year! Consider planting asters, Queen Anne’s lace, and sweet alyssum to attract beneficial insects. If you still have trouble with pests, try a natural alternative for pest control.
Additional resources produced by LEPS and the Township of Langley are available at community centers, the LEPS office, and events throughout the summer