Benefits of gardening without chemicals

Gardening naturally saves time, money, and water.

Get your yard off drugs! In Vancouver, you cannot use pesticides for cosmetic (visual) applications. Pesticides can only be used on lawns and gardens to control an infestation, or destroy a health hazard.

But this doesn’t mean taking care of your yard has to be complicated. When you use natural gardening techniques, you:

  • Cut time wasted on raking and bagging leaves.
  • Save money on water, waste disposal, and chemicals.
  • Help conserve water, and protect soil, streams, lakes and people from chemicals.

How to keep your yard drug-free

Step 1: Choose wisely

Pick pest-resistant plants for your lawn and garden. Replace problem plants with heartier plants, and clean up diseased or dead plants to prevent pests from breeding.

Step 2: Build healthy soil

Get a composter, and use compost when creating new garden beds, or planting a new lawn. Spread compost around plants in spring and fall.

Step 3: Fertilize moderately

Use organic fertilizers made from manure or composted sewer sludge. Fertilize twice a year maximum, in mid to late May and early September.

Step 4: Be water wise

Collect rainwater using a rain barrel. Water your lawn with 25 mm (1 in) of water (about an hour) once a week in warm weather, in the morning to reduce evaporation. 

Step 5: Mow and go

Let your lawn reach 6 cm (nearly 2.5 in) high before mowing. Longer grass protects your lawn from heat, and helps grass grow deeper roots and hold more moisture.

Get the tools to grow your garden

A backyard composter in a garden

Garden composters

Buy an affordable backyard compost bin and get composting tips. Composting your food scraps and yard trimmings is a great way to reduce your household waste and create nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden.

Worms and compost

Apartment worm composters

Don't have a yard for a composter? Order a worm composting bin, perfect for producing fertilizer to use for your house plants.

Compost soil

Buy compost for your garden from the Vancouver Landfill. Details on quantity, price, payment, pick up, and donations to community projects.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:

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When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Have questions about yard trimmings or composting?

Contact the Regional Compost Hotline, or visit the Compost Demonstration Garden:

2150 Maple Street
Vancouver BC

Phone: 604-736-2250

The hotline and garden are run by City Farmer, a non-profit organization, on behalf of the City and Metro Vancouver.

Watering restrictions

Woman watering her garden

Limited watering will help us conserve water and avoid more restrictive measures in case of drought.

Compost soilGarden compostersApartment worm composters