| Environmental Columns
Taking care of your yard in an eco-friendly way
With the arrival of the warm weather, many people will be taking advantage of the next few weeks to prepare their yards for summer. Why not take the opportunity to apply eco-friendly techniques and practices?
This practice allows you to “almost” replicate leaves’ natural cycle.
If you have a few autumn leaves left on your property, instead of putting them in bags for leaf collection, use them to make fertilizer that will enrich your lawn or garden by shredding them with a mower equipped with a blade specially designed for leaf mulching.
As the leaves decompose, they will feed the soil. Being rich in carbon and minerals, they are a natural fertilizer for your lawn and other garden plants.
Excess leaves can also be added to your domestic compost bin or put in the organic waste bin.
Another simple way to feed your lawn is to leave the grass clippings on the ground to decompose and provide a natural fertilizer for the soil. This technique helps preserve moisture and increases your lawn’s resistance to insects and disease.
Another good practice is to keep your mower blade height at 8 centimetres. Leaving your lawn at this height prevents the drawbacks associated with a close-cut lawn: weed invasion, drying out and vulnerability to pests.
In addition to the traditional lawn, there are a number of low-maintenance, low-water alternatives for greening your yard. If you look on the Internet, you will find many options that may be of interest to you.
Did you know that the use of pesticides is strictly controlled by municipal by-laws to ensure a healthy environment for everyone? Unless you have exceptionally been granted a permit, the use of pesticides on our territory has been prohibited since spring 2017.
The following pamphlet provides tips on how to achieve a healthy lawn without using pesticides or biopesticides.
Would you like to add plants, vegetables or shrubs to your flowerbeds or yard? Opt for native plants, i.e., local flowers, plants and vegetables.
Since they will be in their own environment, they will be more likely to thrive. In addition, these plants encourage the reproduction of pollinators, butterflies and birds by providing them with food and a habitat.
To find out about native plants, see the Espace pour la vie article on the subject.
A rain barrel is a good way to reduce your consumption of drinking water, since the water recovered can be used to maintain your garden, vegetable garden and lawn, and even to wash your car.
Another advantage is that you will have your own water source during droughts or watering restriction periods, reduce the cost of producing drinking water and treating wastewater, and help reduce pollution caused by runoff when it rains!
The City makes rain barrels available to citizens. They can be purchased at the City Hall multiservice counter.
Household compost bin
A household compost bin is an excellent way to produce compost at home to feed your vegetable garden or yard. They can also be purchased at the City Hall multiservice counter (a maximum of three household compost bins is allowed per residence.)
Using this bin allows you to recycle organic and green waste. You can even put some pieces of paper and cardboard in it.
With all this advice in hand, don’t forget the essential ingredient for taking good care of your yard: fun! Involve young and old alike. Many tasks can be given to little ones, who will feel independent and useful while providing a real helping hand!
Read more on this subject in some of our previous columns: