Lawn and Yard Weeds

Prevention is the best solution to controlling the weeds in your lawn or garden. Watch for flowering weeds along roadsides, driveways and fence lines or waste areas and make sure they are cut down before they go to seed.

Click here to learn more about maintaining your lawn and controlling your weeds.

7 Steps to a Naturally Healthy Lawn
  1. Aerate. Aerate compacted soil in the Spring or Fall to improve root health. 
  2. Top-Dress. Top-dressing involves the spread of good quality topsoil or compost on top of your lawn to improve soil condition. The most beneficial topdressing includes compost, soil and peat moss.
  3. Overseed. Overseeding involves the addition of grass seed to your lawn to make it thicker. Early fall is the best time to overseed. 
  4. Fertilize. Fertilize naturally by applying a slow-release organic fertilizer in the spring and/or fall to create a stronger, pest-resistant lawn. Lawn clippings are an excellent source of natural fertilizer.
  5. Spot Check. Spot check your lawn early for signs of weed or insect infestation before it becomes a problem. Weeds usually mean your lawn is stressed and changes in maintenance practices can fix the problem. 
  6. Water. Do not overwater! Most lawns only need about 2.5 cm (depth of a tuna can) of water a week, which can easily be applied by sprinkling once a week. Over watering can promote lawn disease and leach nutrients from the soil. Sprinkling early in the morning is best because less water is lost to evaporation.
  7. Mow. Mow High! Keep mower blades 5-6 cm high, never removing more than 1/3 of the blade height. Ensure mower blades are sharpened once a season. Leave clippings on the lawn as they are an excellent source of natural fertilizer.
  • Native plants are species that are originally from this area, and are well adapted to our climate. 

    Why should you plant native plants?
    Water Conservation

    You'll use less water when you stock your garden with native plants. This is because these plants are used to the seasonal rainfall we see in this area. You only need to give them a little extra water to get them established when you first plant them.

    Reduced Maintenance

    Native gardens require little work:

    • The plants usually grow together very well.
    • They are usually more resistant to diseases and pests.
    • The leaves they drop act as a fertilizer and a weed suppressor. 

    This means you'll avoid using costly, potentially harmful, pesticides and fertilizers in your yard. And, you don't have to remove the leaves the plants drop. 

    Wildlife

    Tailor your landscape to attract birds, butterflies, ladybugs, and more. One of the most pleasant benefits of planting a native garden is the wildlife!

    Watch and listen to birds and other wildlife in your yard, and know you're increasing the habitat and food available to them in an urban setting.

    Where can you find more information?

    The following resources can help support your quest to use native plants in your yard or small space:

  • Coniferous Trees

    BOTANICAL NAME

    COMMON NAME

    Icea Glauco

    White Spruce

    Pinus Contorta Latifolia

    Lodgepole Pine

    Pseudotsuga Menziesli

    Douglas Pine


    Deciduous Trees

    BOTANICAL NAME

    COMMON NAME

    Prunus Pensylvanica

    Pin Cherry

    Betula Occidentalis

    Water Birch

    Papyrifera Populus

    Paper Birch

    Populus Balsamifera

    Balsam Poplar

    Populus Tremuloides

    Trembling Aspen

    Prunus Virginiana Melanocarpa

    Choke Cherry


    Coniferous Shrubs

    BOTANICAL NAME

    COMMON NAME

    Amelanchier Alnifolia   

    Saskatoon

    Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi           

    Common Bearberry

    Cornus Stolonifera      

    Red Osier Dogwood

    Elaeagnus Commutate

    Wolf Willow

    Ledum Groenlandicum

    Labrador Tea

    Lonicera Involucrata

    Black Twinberry

    Potentilla Fruticosa

    Shrubby Cinquefoil

    Prunus Pensylvanica

    Pin Cherry

    Ribes Alpinum 

    Alpine Currant

    Ribes hudsonianum

    Northern Black Currant

    Ribes Oxyacanthoides

    Black Gooseberry

    Osa Acicularis

    Prickly Rose

    Rosa Woodsii

    Prairie Rose

    Rubus Idaeus

    Wild Red Raspberry

    Rubus Pubescens

    Trailing Raspberry

    Salix Bebbiana

    Bebb’s Willow

    Salix Discolor

    Pussy Willow

    Salix Exigua

    Coyote Willow

    Salix Glauco

    Grey Leaved Willow

    Shepherdia Canadensis

    Russet Buffaloberry

    Symphoricarpos Albus

    Common Snowberry

    Symphoricarpos Occidentalis

    Western Snowberry


    Restrict Plant List

    BOTANICAL NAME

    COMMON NAME

    Betula Pendula

    Weeping Birch

    Caragana Arborescens

    Sutherland Caragana

    Malux x Royalty

    Royalty Crabapple

    Populus Tremula Erecta

    Swedish Columnar Aspen

    Prunus x Cistena

    Purple-leaved Sandcherry

    Populus x Canescens Tower

    Tower Popular

    Salix Pendula

    Weeping Willow

  • Every property owner who has land adjacent to a boulevard is responsible for:
    • watering and mowing the grass;
    • keeping the area free of noxious weeds; and
    • keeping the area fee of garbage and other debris.
    Property owners must NOT:
    • plant or remove any shrubs or trees within the boulevard; or
    • erect a fence or structure within the boulevard.
Invasive Plants

Invasive species are foreign plants and animals that grow out of control in parks, gardens, and other areas. In their natural habitat they have predators and competitors that keep them in check. However, in a new place with no natural controls they grow unchecked in natural and urban areas.

  • What are noxious or invasive weeds?

    Noxious weeds are non-native plants that have been introduced to B.C. without the insect predators and plant pathogens that help keep them in check. They can:

    • Reduce crop quality and yield
    • Destroy native plants and animal habitats
    • Be poisonous
    • Harbour insects and crop diseases
    • Create unsafe conditions
    • Damage landscapes

    Click here to learn more about controlling noxious weeds on your property.

  • Why are invasive plants a problem?

    Invasive plants are those plants that do not occur naturally in ecosystems in British Columbia. They pose a threat to our native environment and are recognized globally as the second greatest threat to biodiversity.

    Specific impacts of invasive plant infestations include:

    •  disruption of natural ecosystem processes,
    •  alteration of soil chemistry - preventing the regrowth of native plants and economic crops,
    •  increased soil erosion,
    •  livestock and wildlife poisoning,
    •  increased risk of wildfires,
    •  interference with forest regeneration, 
    •  allergic reactions, severe skin abrasions and burns on people.
  • How can I manage the weeds on my lawn?

    Sprinkle corn gluten meal on grass to prevent the growth of annual weeds such as dandelions before they have emerged. Specialized dandelion diggers are also available in gardening stores for full removal of emerging weeds.

  • How can I remove stubborn weeds between paving stones?

    Boiling water can be used to help control a weed outbreak in between hard surfaces. For larger areas, consider investing in a propane weed torch or water-powered weeder, available at specialty garden supply stores.

  • How can I destroy weeds over larger areas?

    Cover the affected area with black or clear plastic, secure to ground, and leave for 4 to 6 weeks (during warm weather periods). The resulting high temperatures will kill roots and seeds below the surface of the soil.

  • What alternatives can I use to sod?

    When replacing lawn with alternatives, select plants based on:

    • Native plant species
    • Soil type
    • Light conditions
    • Expected usage