Disposing of garden chemicals

Avoiding Spare Chemicals

One way is to avoid mixing more than you need if you are diluting things like weed killers or even fertilisers (too much can be as bad as none at all). Have a watering can or jug set aside for mixing such sprays. It’s easier to mix just enough and then some more if you need to do so than to wonder what to do with too much.

This saves the problem of looking for something else to use your mixture on or tipping it on some bare soil where it could cause problems to you later on (or just be plain bad for the soil!).

Disposing of empty containers

Empty pesticide and weedkiller containers which have held concentrated liquids (those requiring dilution before use), should be rinsed three times, adding the washings to the final spray solution. You can then dispose of the containers in your normal household waste bins (yes take them home, no-one wants to inherit a collection of rubbish or buried containers when taking over a new allotment).

Disposing of surplus chemicals

If you buy well this should not be a problem as you will not have surplus material. Buying too much is bad for your purse so you should think about how much you need (and whether you need it) before you buy not how to dispose of it after spending your hard earned money!

Never dispose of surplus pesticide or weedkiller down drains or in watercourses as this leads to all sorts of problems somewhere else!  If disposal is unavoidable, small quantities should be diluted and sprayed onto permitted plants according to the label instructions.

Disposing of old chemicals

You should never have old chemicals at the end of the season if you have been buying wisely. But there are times when chemicals that gardeners have known and used for years are withdrawn because the dangers of use become better known. If you are really interested there is a long list of withdrawn items on the RHS website. Most of the list shows that the last use dates were quite some years ago and the listed items will be of no useful value on the allotment.

For some thought provoking information on disposing of garden chemicals, this is some thoughtful reading. Just remember how many accidents occur in the home that could be prevented if we thought about our use of chemicals – and about the money that maybe we didn’t need to spend in the first place.

Only buy what you need in the way of chemicals for the allotment and only go down this route if all other methods fail to solve a problem will prevent many a problem and headache in the future.

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