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The Manotick Directory

Environmental Tips for Homeowners

Ontario's province-wide pesticide regulation bans the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. There are many safe alternatives for maintaning a healthy lawn, garden, shrubs and trees.
Wild Parsnip should be reported to the City of Ottawa 3-1-1 or to Rideau-Goulbourn's Ward office 613-580-2491. [Wild Parsnip information]
  1. Weeds: Dig up dandelions before they go to seed. Hardware stores sell diggers, water-lifters, flame burners, etc.
  2. Weeds: Kill plants between stones with a mixture of 4L (1 gal) vinegar, 1 cup salt, ½ teaspoon dish detergent. Apply before several days of dry weather.
  3. Weeds: Use corn gluten meal on lawns in spring and fall. It's a pre-emergent (prevents seeds from germinating) as well as a nitrogen fertilizer. Do not use before planting grass seed!
  4. Weeds: Grow moss between patio bricks to prevent weeds. Puree some green moss and water in a blender, then sprinkle between bricks. Keep moist until established and during dry weather.
  5. Fertilizer: Replace commercial products with seaweed concentrate, mushroom compost, rotted manure, and of course, composted kitchen and yard waste.
  6. Plant Fungus:
    1. Water plants with mixture of 5mL baking soda, 5 mL dishwashing liquid, in 1 L water.
    2. Water plants with water soaked with horsetail weeds for 2 days.
  7. Bugs: Soak rhubarb leaves in a pail of water for 2-3 days to water flowers and vegetables (cover it as this is poisonous). Wait a week before harvesting food as this is poisonous to humans too!
  8. Bugs: Diatomatious earth (ground rock) sprinkled where bugs crawl - use only in problem areas as this kills "good" bugs too.
  9. Bugs: Look around your garden regularly and "pick" off bugs and caterpillars that are eating your plants. Use gloves and drop in soapy water if you are squeamish.
  10. Bugs: Feed birds in the winter and they will eat insects in the summer.
  11. Bugs: Grubs in your lawn? Apply Nematodes (they eat grubs).
  12. Bugs: Chinch bugs live in "thatch" - convert lawn to organic, topdress in spring, and vacuum them up!
  13. Rodents: Moles or shrews are GOOD - they eat insects, grubs and slugs. Voles (field mice) eat grass, tubers, seeds and insects.
  14. Fires: You need a City of Ottawa Fire Permit before having a fire outside. Then you must call (613) 580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect.
"We know for instance, that a brand-new baby typically, out of the womb, has over 230 industrial chemicals in its blood, 190 of which have been linked to cancer."      ... Guy Dauncey, 'Prevent Cancer Now'

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