Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Pesticides

Always (Re)read the Pesticide Label

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No matter if you’ve used a pesticide before, always reread the label before using it. hghource: npic.orst.edu

Today, an extra simple “tip of the day,” but also extra important one for your plants, for the environment and for your health and that of your family:

Before applying any pesticide, read or reread the label, even if you think you know it by heart.

It only takes a few minutes and can prevent a lot of damage.

The rule “if a little is good, then most must be better” certainly doesn’t apply to pesticides. Pesticides applied at a greater concentration than recommended can damage the very plants they’re supposed to protect. And overly diluting a pesticide will make it inefficient. Plus there may be restrictions (don’t apply in full sun, in hot weather, when rain is announced within the next 24 hours, on such and such a plant, etc.) that you’ve forgotten. Look too for the expiry date. If you’ve kept the product much beyond it, it may no longer be effective.

And remember: this rule applies to both organic pesticides and chemical ones: it’s not because Mother Nature created a product that it’s not hazardous when misused!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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