Lawns form part of the urban landscape in any municipality. The Ville de Saint-Lambert therefore has a few rules in this regard to ensure a pleasant environment.
Watering isn’t always necessary to have a lush, green lawn. Here are a few simple tips to keeping your lawn healthy, while using as little potable water as possible:
- Only water when necessary. A lawn only needs 2.5 cm (1 in.) of water per week. A good rain shower once a week is plenty.
- Use water from rainwater barrels during dry spells.
- Mow less frequently to help the soil retain its moisture.
- Keep your mowing height at around 7.5 cm (3 in.) to retain moisture.
- Leave grass clippings and shredded leaves on your lawn to provide a natural fertilizer.
- Diversify your seed mix for better resistance to insects and a reduced need for fertilizer: creeping red fescue, perennial ryegrass, white clover, etc.
Grasscycling consists of leaving grass clippings on the lawn. Decomposing in less than 48 hours, grass acts as a perfect natural fertilizer, largely because it consists of nearly 80% water and is rich in nitrogen.
Grasscycling also helps reduce the quantities of residual materials sent to landfill sites. Grasscycling: it’s plain common sense!
Vegetation maintenance by-laws
In order to preserve the quality and quantity of water as well as the quality of the environment in general, several regulations apply.
You are free at all times to use a watering can containing less than 40 litres of water or the water from your rain barrel to water your garden and lawn. You may also use a hose connected to the municipal water supply system on the condition that it is fitted with a hand-held spray nozzle with an automatic shut-off.
Watering with removable systems, such as perforated hoses or oscillating sprinklers, is permitted between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Wednesdays at even-numbered addresses and on Tuesdays at odd-numbered addresses.
Automatic sprinklers systems
Watering with automatic sprinkler systems is permitted between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Wednesdays at even-numbered addresses and on Tuesdays at odd-numbered addresses.
An automatic sprinkler system must be equipped with the following devices:
- An automatic humidity sensor or an automatic shut-off device that, in case of rain, will suspend watering operations when precipitation suffices or when the humidity level in the soil is sufficient.
- A reduced pressure anti-backflow valve to prevent any contamination of the drinking water distribution network.
- An electric valve activated by an electric control mechanism for automatic sprinkler control or sprinkler cycle control. It must be installed downstream from the anti-backflow device.
- A handle or gate valve with manual closing to be used exclusively in the event of breakage, malfunction or for any other situation considered an emergency. The handle or gate valve must be accessible from the exterior.
Special watering permit
When you lay down new turf, you can water your lawn for a maximum of seven consecutive days. However, the watering hours prescribed in the by-law must be respected.
It is forbidden to make any noise (such as using a lawnmower) that disturbs the peace and tranquility of the neighbourhood between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., and all day Sunday. It is also forbidden at all times to make a noise with a sound level that is equal to exceeds 50 decibels, as measured at the property line.
It is forbidden to let brush or grass grow taller than 20 cm. The owner, tenant, or occupant is responsible for maintaining the property and the building.
Effective since May 1, 2022, there is total ban on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. The aim is to reduce emission of the greenhouse gases, which are so harmful to the environment, and their impacts on human health.
Electric leaf blowers are still permitted, but only Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. as well as Saturday and public holidays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Their use is never authorized on Sundays.
The best way to collect your dead leaves is still (and will always be) using a good old rake! It’s environmentally responsible, good for your health, and less noisy!
Pesticides are a false good idea, and their use is strictly controlled in the city.
The use of synthetic pesticides is prohibited at all times in Saint-Lambert even if they are readily available on the market. These pesticides are persistent in the environment and can contaminate water, air and soil. In addition, they have a detrimental impact on biodiversity because they do not target harmful organisms (pests) directly.
They also pose health risks for children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and animals. In fact, they may not be applied near schools and daycares.
They are absorbed by the body – whether through the skin, respiratory tract or mouth – and can cause immediate undesirable effects in people, such as skin and eye irritations, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
For more information on products whose use is prohibited by the Ville de Saint-Lambert, please contact the Green Squad by email at email@example.com or by phone at 450-672-4444. Glyphosate products, which are a type of synthetic pesticide, are prohibited.
A special permit may be issued in cases of infestation.
Low-impact pesticides are permitted under our municipal by-laws, but only for cases of infestation. These pesticides come from natural sources. They are recognized as being less harmful because they are less persistent in the environment, target harmful organisms directly and are less toxic:
- diatomaceous earth and borax, for ants;
- insecticidal soaps, for aphids and other small insects;
- Bacillus thuringiensis (Btk), for caterpillars;
- nematodes, for white grubs;
- TreeAzin, for the emerald ash borer;
- other products such as sulphur, dormant oil, corn gluten meal, iron chelate, etc.
The best actions to take for an eco-friendly lawn:
- Action nº 1 | Encourage biodiversity: sowing clover or planting thyme in your lawn keeps white grubs and weeds away; also, these plants require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. A win-win strategy!;
- Action nº 2 | Keep your grass about 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in.) long to prevent weed invasions and insect infestations. Wait until it is about 10 cm (4 in.) long before mowing and it will stay green;
- Action nº 3 | Grasscycle, which means leaving your grass cuttings on the lawn instead of raking them up. This technique “returns” to the soil 30 to 50% of the nitrogen it needs and maintains a high level of moisture to feed the organisms responsible for natural soil fertility. It thus reduces the need for fertilizers and water;
- Action nº 4 | Water your lawn less often, but thoroughly (i.e. for longer) so as to reach the deep roots. And here’s a tip on how to make your lawn less dependent on water: avoid watering before the dry spells that occur in the month of June;
- Action nº 5 | Aerate your lawn. If the soil is compacted, you should aerate it in the spring and fall using a core aerator, which removes “plugs” of earth and leaves them in place to improve soil health;
- Action nº 6 | Feed the soil with compost, as this improves water retention and reduces the need for fertilizer. In the fall, mulch leaves on the spot with your lawn mower. Earthworms and other organisms in the earth will take care of turning them into compost (at no cost);
- Action nº 7 | Plant the right plants in the right place. In places where grass is hard to grow, plant some groundcover instead (periwinkle, creeping thyme, pachysandra, etc.) or arrangements of perennials adapted to the conditions.
Whether you treat your lawn yourself or use a contractor’s services, it is your responsibility to find out about the products applied and the proper way to apply them:
- Your contractor must have an authorization certificate from the City authorizing it to use pesticides (even those of low-impact) and fertilizers. The following contractors have this registration certificate authorizing their use of pesticides in compliance with our by-law:
- AJS Extermination
- Experts Verts
- Monsieur Gazon
- Maheu Extermination
- The contractor is responsible for informing people, by posting coloured signs, that a property has been treated with pesticides to prevent all contact with the treated surface. These signs must be compliant with Québec’s Pesticide Management Code and placed so that they can be read without having to walk on the treated surface.
- Green sign: for a fertilizer;
- Yellow sign: for a low-impact pesticide;
- Red sign: for a synthetic pesticide requiring prior obtention of a temporary application permit from the City.
- The property owner is responsible for giving at least 24 hours advance notice to neighbours living adjacent to the property targeted for the application.
- Dandelions that start twisting, or weeds that droop, twist or change colour (purple, yellow or brown) are warning signs, so be vigilant! It is up to you to ensure that the products used by your contractor are authorized by the City.
Please contact the Environment Division at 450-672-4444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out whether your product is compliant before purchasing it or applying it on your property.