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The Alternatives - Tools Outside Pesticides and Herbicides for Green Space Maintenance Talk given by Paule Hjertaas,B Sc, president and spokesperson of.

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Presentation on theme: "The Alternatives - Tools Outside Pesticides and Herbicides for Green Space Maintenance Talk given by Paule Hjertaas,B Sc, president and spokesperson of."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Alternatives - Tools Outside Pesticides and Herbicides for Green Space Maintenance Talk given by Paule Hjertaas,B Sc, president and spokesperson of the Saskatchewan Network for Alternatives to Pesticides (SNAP Inc) to the 2010 Saskatchewan Green Trades Conference, November 12, 11 a.m., Saskatoon Inn, Saskatoon

2 Table of content Problems in green space management SK efforts at pesticide reduction Weed control in various situations Chemical versus natural fertilizer Comparison Regina- Barrie, ON Insect Control Fungicides Usefulness of IPM Questions to ask Acknowledgements

3 Problems faced in green space management: Probably mostly weed control Some insects on individual species of plants or lawns Mosquito, wasp and other biting insect control Rodent control (especially ground squirrel)

4 Saskatoon - pesticide-free hospitals In 2009, the Saskatoon Health Region started to maintain hospital properties pesticide- free

5 Regina Pesticide-Free Parks 1 In 2010, Regina designated 3 pesticide-free parks

6 Regina Pesticide-Free Parks 2 When looking for candidate parks, Regina realized that they had 106 parks (37%) which had not been sprayed for years Parks chosen also had good turf conditions.

7 Regina Sports fields The group in charge won the 2009 city awards for innovative initiative Currently class A sports fields are maintained without the use of herbicides or other pesticides The award was for starting a composting project with grass clippings, pulled flowers, and use the resulting compost to topdress the grass More frequent aeration Top dressing and overseeding

8 Weed control Timing is everything flower beds under trees and shrubs under fences hard surfaces –along fences –paths and walkways –patios and paving –gravel lawns noxious weeds along water neglected areas in ground covers

9 Flower / Shrub Beds 1 Avoid leaving bare soil - plant or mulch Pull out any weed roots If it gets out of hand, dig plants and start over. Apparently, shrub beds watered by sprinklers, they stay too moist if mulched so plant any new shrub beds accordingly

10 Flower / Shrub Beds 2 Getting started on new ground Grow smother crop for 1-2 years Solarize the bed before planting to reduce weed seeds And/or cultivate often

11 Weeds Under Fences The city of Seattle chose to pour a cement mow strip under their fences in the area which cannot be mowed. Other types of barrier strips may be effective. They can be covered with mulch More options in “Maintaining Hardscapes and Fencelines” NCAP

12 Weed control on hard surfaces Currently most of you likely use RoundUp

13 Crack and sidewalks - my experiment Use of Ecoweeder in cracks and hand tool for asphalt edges besides sidewalk Strategy: when weeds come out Prevent going to seed Annual weeds mostly under control Replaced by plantain and Portulaca but not a big issue.

14 Weeds in Play areas, school yards Alternatives Crusher Dust Regina increased its use of York rake on these surfaces Harley rake (Seattle) Playgrounds and scoolyards Regina uses Eco-Clear, a vinegar-based product Other Alternatives Prevention: sweeping or blowing the dirt out or caulk cracks. Aquacide excels on hard surfaces Propane Eco-weeder NOTE: effectiveness may depend on timing

15 Comparative cost/ha for grass (inclusive - Regina) Traditional Class B = $6,750/hectare Mowed 1/week at 2-3 inches, trimmed 1/mo, Class C = $1,000/hectare Mowed once/month Cultural/IPM Class A = $9,200/hectare Mowed twice/week at 2-3 inches Trimmed 1/week Watered, fertilized and edged twice as often as cl B

16 Cost of chemical vs natural lawn care The main difference between class A and B parks in Regina is mainly one of man power Both Chris Osborne and Paul Tukey have shown that the cost of natural lawn care is similar after a few years Lawn care industry testimonials also indicate reduced costs and larger profit margins (Osborne DVD)

17 How to Reduce cost of weed control Costs can be maintained or decreased by improving soil life and quality Only control weeds based on complaints and infestations, not everywhere as a matter of fact Education campaign Donate edger tools to home owners ‘Naturalize’ some grass areas Clean streets more than once/year

18 Complete Approach to pesticide- free grass - Cultural Go Organic cold turkey Soil test for pH, all nutrients, minerals and microrganisms Optimize soil conditions based on soil tests 7 times more Calcium than Magnesium Use natural fertilizer to add organic matter and the right organisms Aerate as needed Topdress with compost Brew own compost tea Overseed spring and fall Water deep and less often Mow high all year, leave clippings on Use 5 % clover for nitrogen Mow low and rake in fall

19 Chemical vs Natural Fertilizer Chemical Feeds the plant directly Usually results in organism-poor soil Natural Feeds the microorganisms in the soil Re-establishes nutrient and pH balance Adds organic matter and beneficial organisms

20 Noxious Weed Control Most common will likely be Leafy Spurge, Scentless Chamomile (image 1) and Purple Loosestrife (image 2) All have Integrated Vegetation Management plans

21 Leafy Spurge chemicals don't work very well on spurge is because the mature weed has roots that reach 10 to 15 feet deep the weed spits its seeds as it dries up a creeping habit tillage is ineffective

22 Leafy Spurge alternative control 1 Integrated control better if the infestation is the size of a large room or larger Image 1: Leafy Spurge Flea beetles (5 species) Image 2: Leafy Spurge Hawk Moth caterpillar is established in some areas but no major control noticed

23 Goats to Control Leafy Spurge 2 Image: Angora goat eating leafy spurge Grazing Goats are especially effective. Goats destroy seeds Prefer weeds, especially leafy spurge Aerate and fertilize soil Can be used to effectively reseed Grazing pattern prevents regrowth

24 Goat herd successfully used to control leafy spurge in Elbow community pasture

25 Goats for weed control Are there any Acts, Regulations or municipal bylaws to prevent livestock in municipalities? Best site: / / Lack of training Goats are hired to eat the following weeds: Canada thistle Cheat grass Common tansy Common mullein Dalmatian toad flax Dandelions Downy brome Indian tobacco Knapweed Larkspur Leafy spurge Musk thistle Ox-eye daisy Plumeless thistle Poison hemlock Purple loostrife Scotch thistle Spotted Knapweed Sweet clover Yellow star thistle

26 With dog

27 Comparison Regina - Barrie, ON 1 Regina Entirely planted urban forest Less species diversity More pesticides use Insect pests: Canker worms, beetles transmitting Dutch Elm Disease, occasionally tent caterpillars Barrie Many natural woodlots left within city More tree diversity Already used much less pesticides than Regina No tree pests

28 Comparison Regina - Barrie, ON 2 Regina In the past, Regina has sprayed trees in summer for aphids with insecticidal soap by itself or mixed with pyrethrins. WCA has sprayed for scale insects with dormant oil in spring and used Cygon for borers in conifers. (over-reaction?) Barrie No insect issue Citizens supported a phase out of chemical pesticide use

29 Insects Canker Worms Banding in fall - timely Btk Wondering if shop vac would not work for home owners Tent Caterpillars Btk Lures available Dutch Elm Disease Transmitted by elm bark beetles Winnipeg unpublished experiments: banding before Sep 1 st causes 96% mortality Lures available

30 Insect Control - Mosquitos Chemical Fogging with malathion or other chemical Alternative Find out where mosquitos breed and larvidice the area with Bti or Bacillus sphaericus Promote use of mosquito repellent and other lifestyle changes Garlic barrier as area repellent

31 Insect control - Wasps Close garbage cans Cover drinks Identify nest area and vacuum with shop vac or/and vacuum outside guards and squirt diatomaceous earth inside nest.

32 Regina use of fungicides Currently never used in parks Only on golf courses, especially greens Alternatives Planting different grasses ecotypes with more resistance to local fungi Compost tea as fertilizer and to prevent diseases Bio-fungicides

33 Compost Tea Can be made from compost, or herbs and weeds Nettle tea is very rich in nutrients and a good compost activator as well as controlling aphids, fungi, algi, lichens (permaculture) Manure teas also useful On August 31, 2006, the French government seizes all information related to using nettle tea for insect and disease control because it is not a registered pesticide product. Public pressure had the law changed.

34 IPM / IVM Integrated Pest Management / Integrated Vegetation Management- Canadian Definitions “Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process that uses all necessary techniques to suppress pests effectively, economically and in an environmentally sound manner.” (IPM Council of Canada, ites/IPM/assets/File/ST_policies_d oc_-_June_4_2010.pdf ites/IPM/assets/File/ST_policies_d oc_-_June_4_2010.pdf “IPM takes a variety of monitoring techniques and biological, cultural and chemical measures to control pests in an ongoing management program.” (Canadian Produce Marketing Association, factsheet.asp ) factsheet.asp

35 Compare the previous two to IPM Institute of North America definition “IPM relies on inspection and monitoring - to detect and correct conditions that can lead to pest problems. They act against pests only when necessary, and use the least-hazardous methods when action is needed.”

36 IPM Definition- the essential “Integrated pest management (IPM) is an integrated approach of crop management to solve ecological problems when applied in agriculture.” “These methods are performed in three stages: prevention, observation, and intervention. It is an ecological approach with a main goal of significantly reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides while at the same time managing pest populations at an acceptable level.[1]” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_pest_management ecological[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_pest_management

37 Missing mandatory components of Canadian IPM definitions 1.the goal to significantly reduce or eliminate pesticide use 2. the lack of prioritization of methods used based on their toxicity, such as using chemicals only in last resort, and starting with the least toxic methods and products.

38 Questions to ask Why is no alternative training available in SK? Why are there so much fewer natural products registered in Canada than the US? Why is Canada persisting in using an ineffective IPM definition?

39 Acknowledgement Neil Vandendort, Director, Parks & Open Space Department, City of Regina Chett Neufeld, Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan Heather Adie, Saskatchewan Organic Growers Brenda Frick, Bluebur Fluent Organics Harvey Anderson, Invasive species specialist, SARM


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