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The People with the Grow How

SPRAYING SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

As we approach summer, there is always a tendency to need to spray more often.  This is simply due to the fact that insects become more active in the hotter months.  Weeds also appear out of nowhere.  Fungus seems to develop overnight. You need to take action sooner rather than later.

Non-chemical control alternatives should always be considered before you reach out for pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. If natural products are not solving your problem, then one needs some assistance. Be aware that all chemicals have colour codes.   Look out for them when selecting your next chemical.  Red means very toxic, Yellow means harmful, Blue means be cautious and Green means that it’s relatively safe. So look out for these bands when next selecting a chemical.

Once you have selected the correct insecticide, fungicide or herbicide, please ensure that you read the instructions of the label carefully.  Follow the recommended rate of application and never, ever go stronger.  Not only will you be wasting the product but it could cause damage to the environment.  Always keep the chemicals out of reach from children and pets. Store them in a cool place away from foodstuffs.  Ideally, they could be kept in your garage locked away.  

When spraying, always wear protective clothing like eye protection goggles, a mask (even a dusk mask is fine if you are not spraying large areas). Also, remember to wear gloves.  It is better to handle the inconvenience of protective equipment and be safe, rather than being contaminated with pesticide and later be very sorry.

Avoid spraying in the wind. Even on a calm day you will get  some spray drift. If it appears that rain is immenint in the next 6 hours or so, do not spray.

Do not eat, drink or smoke whilst mixing or applying chemicals.

Always ensure that your spraying equipment is in working order.   If your sprayer is not spraying correctly,  or if a rubber or an o-ring is worn out, you will tend to get the chemical dripping and this can be a hazard to yourself. We suggest that after each use of your sprayer, you wash it out carefully.

Never leave excess chemical in your sprayer, as this also damages the rubbers and blocks the nozzle.

A golden rule after spraying is to always wash your hands with soap and water.

Remember that all pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are potentially dangerous. It is always better to take the above precautions for your own safety and well being.

Here is to safety gardening. Take care.