Weed control without pesticides

Cosmetic pesticides are not permitted in Ontario. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers are regulated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Using natural methods to control pests and weeds can:

  • reduce your risk of exposure to harmful chemicals
  • help protect Guelph’s drinking water supply
  • prevent harm to birds and wildlife

Pull weeds out by hand or use a weeding tool and throw them away in your green bin, don’t leave them on the ground or in your composter as they can re-root, or drop seeds. It’s easiest to pull weeds by hand when the soil is wet.

If you can’t remove the whole plant, remove flower heads before they turn to seed.

Prevent weeds in your lawn

  • Use corn gluten meal in late March or early April to control crabgrass before it starts growing
  • Pull weeds out by hand or with a weeding tool
  • Mow regularly and properly to prevent weed seeds from spreading

Prevent weeds in your garden

  • Use 7 to 10 centimetres (3 to 4 inches) of mulch in your gardens to create a barrier; top up your mulch every year.
  • Don’t disturb the soil any more than you need to; digging will bring buried weed seeds to the surface.
  • Use drip irrigation to water your plants, not your weeds.
  • Space new plants so they grow close together when they mature. Fill in gaps so weeds have nowhere to grow.