Water is part of everything that we do. We are frequently asked about water testing, septic system maintenance, and fertilizing lawns. The Connecticut Institute of Water Resources, a project with Natural Resources & the Environment, has resources for homeowners: http://ctiwr.uconn.edu/residential/
UConn Extension, with the CT Department of Energy and Environment (CT DEEP), has developed a series that explains and clarifies Connecticut’s pesticide restrictions on school grounds.
In 2010, Connecticut state legislation banned the application of all pesticides registered with EPA, and labeled for use on lawn, garden, and ornamental sites, on the grounds of public or private daycares and schools with grades K-8. The law was amended in 2015 to allow the use of horticultural oils and microbial and biochemical pesticides.
Since enactment of this legislation, weed control on school ground properties has been a significant challenge for school grounds managers. Although the law is nearly 10 years old, widespread understanding and awareness of the law remains elusive. UConn Extension’s primers aim to break down the most essential details of the law for grounds managers, administrators, parents, guardians, teachers, and other members of the school community.
Vickie Wallace and Alyssa Siegel-Miles, of UConn Extension, with the assistance of Diane Jorsey, of CT DEEP, created three versions of the primer: a brochure for the school community; a more detailed primer for school administrators, and longer primer that includes management information for school grounds managers.
The primers answer the most frequently asked questions, such as:
- Which school locations are affected by this law?
- Which pesticides are banned?
- Who can apply minimum risk pesticides on school properties?
- Are exemptions to the law permitted for emergencies?
- Are there pesticide products that are permitted for use on K-8 school properties?
- How must a school notify the school community, including parents, of pesticide applications, whether minimum risk or emergency?
- Can playing fields, grounds, and lawns be managed without the use of pesticides?
Read and download the primers:
A Superintendents’ Primer on Connecticut’s School Grounds Pesticide Regulations:
A School Grounds Manager’s Primer on Connecticut’s School Grounds Pesticide Regulations: http://ipm.uconn.edu/documents/view.php?id=1450
School Grounds Pesticide Regulations for the School Community (brochure):
- Purchase onion sets for planting and set 1 inch deep and 4 to 5 inches apart when soil can be worked.
- Early spring is a great time to spot spray or hand-dig dandelions. If spraying, choose a product that won’t kill grass. If digging, wait until after a rain, when soil is soft.
- Apply horticultural oil sprays to control insect pests on fruit trees if temperature is over 40°F.
- Fertilize all fruits mid-month except for strawberries- these are fertilized later in the season.
- If you have dead spots in the lawn, patch them before the summer heat. Top dress bare areas with a mix of topsoil and compost, then reseed.
- Raised beds dry out quicker in wet springs, keep soil from becoming compacted by foot traffic and make crop rotation simpler.
- Plant dahlia tubers indoors in pots. Pinch the growing tips when they reach 6 inches to keep the plant stocky and make transplanting easier.
- Prune ornamental grasses, sedum, hydrangea, and buddleia to a height of 6-12 inches before new growth appears.
- Make a note of gaps in flowerbeds and fill in with spring flowering bulbs next fall.
- Sow peas, carrots, radishes, lettuces, and spinach weather permitting. Plant seedlings of cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli but cover if frost threatens.
For more information please visit the UConn Home and Garden Education Center.