In 2009, the Ontario government passed the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, which banned the sale and use of more than 250 products and 80 pesticide ingredients. There are exceptions for situations where pests affect public health and safety (eg. stinging insects, fighting West Nile virus, controlling poison ivy), and for golf courses, agricultural and forestry use. However, most City parks, gardens and green spaces are impacted by the ban.
The City of Brampton has adopted an “Integrated Plant Health Care” strategy to increase the heartiness of grass to deter weed growth naturally. Our goal is to ensure that we maintain attractive public green spaces while being environmentally responsible and complying with the provincial ban.
If you have a concern about a landscape issue on City property, please call 311 to notify us. Staff will follow-up and address each issue.
Weed control strategies...
The City is taking the following steps to combat the growth of weeds without the use of pesticides:
- Adjust the frequency and timing of when City-owned lawns are cut, to reduce the number of weeds that are permitted to spread seeds (i.e. dandelions flower in both May and August)
- Raise the mowing height to 3 inches to promote stronger grass roots, create shade at the soil level, and discourage the germination of seeds to weeds
- Increase fertilizing and aerating of high-traffic grass areas
- Treat hard surface areas (e.g. walkways) with a high-pressure steam system to control the spread of weeds
- Cover garden and shrub areas with mulch to help retain water and prevent weed seeds from coming in contact with soil
- Plant more trees and fewer shrub beds in new developments to reduce maintenance requirements
- Reduce the number of permeable paved surfaces which permit weed growth along seams between unit pavers
- City staff will manually remove weeds where necessary
We are also investigating and testing new weed and pest control alternatives. These include biological pest control products and planting more vigorous types of grass plants.
Tips to care for your garden and lawn naturally...
- Raise mowing height to 2 ½ inches to improve turf health, root growth and weed resistance
- Mow your grass before weeds have a chance to produce seeds
- Increase the vigour of your lawn through regular fertilizing, aerating, topdressing, over-seeding and watering (1” per week)
- Mulch plant beds to suppress weed growth and conserve moisture
- Install “Weed Mats” to prevent germination of perennial weeds
- Use safe products, such as insecticidal soaps and dormant oil on trees and shrubs to combat pests
- Pull or trim weeds by hand
- Encourage pests’ natural predators like ladybugs and birds
For more information on the pesticide ban, and tips on gardening naturally, visit these websites: