Spraying Safely

Sometimes a garden pest or disease is so troublesome you’ll need a spray to help you to control the problem. Here are some useful tips for using sprays effectively and safely and minimise risks to other creatures (such as bees, lizards etc) that live in or visit your garden.


  • Identify the plant and problem. You may need to send a photo or take affected plant to an expert.
  • Read the product label to ensure the product is suitable to control the problem and can be used on that particular plant.
  • Before spraying edible plants, check the label for the withholding period. This is t that must elapse after spraying before the produce can be picked and eaten.
  • Read (and follow) the safety directions on the pack.
  • Ready-to-use containers are convenient but they must be stored in a cool, dry place, well out of reach of children. Close the nozzle when not in use.
  • If you choose a concentrate, dilute the concentrate with the correct amount of water as stipulated on the label. Try to mix only what you will need to use on that day.
  • Shake well before applying.
  • Spray on a still day so that spray drift will not travel to other plants or parts of the garden.
  • Spray in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening. This reduces risk to plants (the spray is more likely to damage plants if soil is dry or temperatures are rela means spraying occurs when it’s less likely to affect other insects in the garden. Plant material has time to dry before many other insects visit (they’re most numerous during the warmer part of the day. Honey bees, for example, prefer t active when temperatures are above 13 degrees).
  • Wash out the sprayer after use and store in a dry place.
  • Try to keep one sprayer for herbicides and another for pesticides/fungicides.
  • Waith soap and water when you have finished spraying. Spraying with care.

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