This section provides tips for those managing an existing lawn or installing a new lawn without the toxic materials restricted by the Safe Grow Zone Ordinance.
- Maintaining Sustainable Lawns and Landscapes (PDF) Your main source for keeping your pesticide-free lawn healthy and aesthetically pleasing.
- Establishing New Lawns and Landscapes (PDF) Just starting out? Click above to learn how to establish your organic lawn.
- Soil Testing Factsheet (PDF) Information on how to test your soils, where to get them done, and what the results mean for soil management.
- The Well-Stocked Tool Shed (PDF) A comprehensive list of supplies necessary for managing a lawn or landscape sustainably.
- Tips for Contracting with a Service Provider (PDF) First steps on questions you should ask a service provider.
- Watering Techniques Factsheet (PDF) Detailed factsheet on proper watering techniques.
- Protecting Pollinators (PDF) Pollinators such as birds, butterflies and bees need protection from pesticides beyond the Safe Grow Act requirements.
Further Resources (PDF) Helpful information specific to Marylanders and Takoma Park Residents:
- Contact information for Organic Lawn Care Providers
- Plant nurseries and Landscaping Resources
- Land Care and Watering
- Least Toxic Control of Pests
Minimum Risk Pesticides
When mechanical pulling of weeds, proper cultural lawn care management practices, and biological controls have failed, then, and only then, should you consider least-toxic chemical products. The Safe Grow Act allows materials designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as minimum risk pesticides under section 25 (b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which are not subject to federal registration requirements, because their ingredients are viewed as safe for the intended use. Below are some examples of effective products for cosmetic management of lawns.
Minimum risk pesticides allowed by The Safe Grow Act
|Active Ingredients Exempted Under 25 (b) of FIFRA||Uses|
|Castor Oil||Insecticide, animal repellent|
|Cedar Oil||Insect repellent, feeding depressant|
|Cinnamon and Cinnamon Oil||Insecticide, insect repellent, animal repellent|
|Citric Acid||Disinfectant, antimicrobial, sanitizer, fungicide, herbicide, insecticide|
|Citronella and Citronella Oil||Insecticide, animal repellent|
|Cloves and Clove Oil||Insecticide, animal repellent|
|Corn Gluten Meal||Herbicide|
|Dried Blood||Animal repellent|
|Eugenol||Insect and animal repellent, fungicide|
|Garlic and Garlic Oil||Insect and animal repellent|
|Geraniol||Insect and animal repellent|
|Geranium Oil||Insect and animal repellent|
|Lauryl Sulfate||(See Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)|
|Lemongrass Oil||Insect and animal repellent|
|Mint and Mint Oil||Insecticide|
|Peppermint and Peppermint Oil||Insecticide, animal repellent|
|2-Phenethyl Propionate||Insecticide, insect attractant|
|Potassium Sorbate||Preservative, Antimicrobial|
|Putrescent Whole Egg Solids||Insect attractant, animal repellent|
|Rosemary and Rosemary Oil||Insecticide|
|Sesame and Sesame Oil||Insecticide, nematicide|
|Sodium Chloride (Salt)||Disinfectant, sanitizer, bactericide, fungicide, virucide, algaecide|
|Sodium Lauryl Sulfate||Non active ingredient; surfactant, emulsifier, wetting agent|
|Soybean Oil||Insecticide, miticide|
|Thyme and Thyme Oil||Insect and animal repellent, insecticide, fungicide|
|White Pepper||Insect and animal repellent|
|Zinc Metal Strips||Herbicide (moss), fungicide, antimicrobial|