Many gardeners try to control pests and diseases in their plants through good horticultural practice or by letting nature take its course. However, when pests and diseases get out of hand you may want to find a chemical product to deal with the problem.
Caption: It's important to use garden chemicals safely
Get the right product
Your first step should be to identify the cause of the problem. Weather damage and some forms of insect destruction can easily be mistaken for fungal diseases. Some diseases have no available chemical treatment, particularly for fruit and vegetables. It is important to get the right treatment for the right pest or disease and apply it at the right time.
Check the label of the product you’re intending to purchase. It should list what plants it’s for and when and where to apply it.
Only buy as much as you need.
Use the product carefully
Remember never spray on a windy or wet day when the product can drift or will be washed off. It’s also best to avoid treating plants that might be suffering due to drought conditions.
Follow the label instructions carefully, especially any safety advice. Wear gloves as an added precaution, and keep pets and children away from the plants you’re treating until the leaves are dry.
Store chemicals well
Store any garden chemicals in a cool, dark, frost-proof place away from children and pets. Keep all chemicals in their original containers with the lids firmly closed. Keep them out of reach of slugs and snails that might eat damp paper labels.
Disposing of garden chemicals
If you have leftover product use it up on weeds or other plants. Never pour it down the drain or onto bare soil. A local waste disposal facility will also take any excess products. You can check which facility is closest to you at gov.uk/hazardous-waste-disposal
Disposing of empty containers
Empty pesticide and weedkiller containers, which have held concentrated liquids, should be rinsed three times, adding the washings to the spray solution rather than emptying them into the sink. The empty container can then be placed in the household waste.
Empty pesticide and weedkiller containers that have held ready-to-use products can be recycled in the normal household recycling bin.