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Weed control

Weed prevention:

  • Research the plants you want to add to your garden to avoid introducing any weed species.
  • Avoid leaving bare ground in your yard because weeds can easily grow there.

  • Remove weeds before they go to seed to prevent them from spreading.

  • Research wildflower mixes before planting them, as they may contain weed seeds.

  • Don't put weeds in your green cart, as they can still produce seeds - instead bag them and put them in the garbage. 

  • Share your knowledge with your neighbours so they can also prevent weed growth.

Weed control tips for a healthy garden:

If you have only a few weeds, you can control them by pulling them out with your hands. If you prefer to use chemicals, you can find different options at your local hardware store.

If you decide to use a herbicide, it's important to always read the label before applying it. Make sure to use the product for its intended use to avoid harming other plants or the environment.

Black henbane - June 2023

This summer, we have seen an increase in black henbane growing throughout the City. Black henbane is most commonly found in poorly established landscapes or where soil has been disrupted.

Black henbane is considered a noxious weed in Alberta. Plants are able to mass produce seeds, can be irritating to skin and contain alkaloids that are poisonous when ingested.
Black henbane can be identified by its tall thick stem, large light green leaves and showy yellow flowers with purple veins and throats.

If you have black henbane on your property, pull the plant from the root, bag it and dispose of it in your garbage. Use caution to avoid skin contact.

If you come across black henbane in public spaces in Airdrie, please report it to the Parks department. Learn more about black henbane from the Alberta Invasive Species Council (PDF).

Dandelion control in parks and sports fields

The City Parks department controls dandelions in parks and sports fields by counting how many there are. If they exceed a certain number, weed control is done in the fall when the plant absorbs the most product. However, we don't spray when the dandelions are flowering because Airdrie is a CERTIFIED BEE CITY and it could harm bees if their food source is removed.

To improve the health of the turf and prevent weeds from growing, the City uses fertilizing, watering, aerating and topdressing. When the turf is healthy, it's harder for weeds like dandelions to grow. This reduces the need for pesticide use.

The City Parks department controls dandelions based on threshold levels outlined in the INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN (PDF). They count the number of dandelions in parks and sports fields throughout the summer and if dandelions exceed established thresholds, weed control will be considered.

Aerating is a process that involves punching small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground. This helps to improve the health of the grass by reducing soil compaction and promoting deeper root growth.

Topdressing is a method of adding a thin layer of compost or other organic material to the surface of the grass. This helps to improve soil quality and provides additional nutrients to the grass. It can also help to even out any low spots in the lawn and promote healthy growth.

Noxious & prohibited noxious weeds

  • Prohibited noxious weeds are highly invasive and must be completely removed. These plants pose an extreme risk to natural and agricultural areas. Inspection programs are in place to track their whereabouts throughout Alberta.
  • Noxious weeds easily establish and take over properties. These weeds must be controlled to stop their spread. Once established, they can prove difficult to remove.

Invasive plants are aggressive in nature and quickly out-compete native plants to reduce biodiversity. They can infest waterways, range lands and change yards and natural habitats.

For further information refer to the Alberta Weed Control Act.