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Garden Safety FAQs

Posted in Garden Advice on September 12, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Home and Garden Health & Safety 

Stay safe when you are working in your garden. See also How to Stay Safe in Your Garden


Question Answer

What is the problem to be solved?

First, identify the problem

Is the problem

  • Insect?
  • Disease?
  • Weed?
  • Deficiency?
  • Soil pH?
  • Drainage?
  • Wind damage?
  • Airflow?
  • Low/high light?
  • Etc.

What are the possible solutions?

Research the possible solutions

Does it require a pesticide and/or other solution?

  • E.g moss or hydrocotyle in lawns – LawnPro Prickle and Hydrocotyle or Mossclear will kill the weeds but the soil should also be forked to improve drainage, pH raised by the addition of lime, light improved but cutting back and thinning overhanging trees, etc.

Is a pesticide the best option for control/cure/prevention?

Concentrate or Ready to Use?

  • Concentrates require handling of higher concentration of pesticide.
  • Ready to use do not require mixing, but may only be suitable for small areas or a few plants.

What personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn?

Follow the instructions on the label. These are specific to any hazards the product may have.

  • Impervious gloves –
    • Many types of gardening gloves will absorb liquids and these are worse than no gloves as the next time you put them on you will contact the liquid again.
    • Wash/rinse gloves after use or use disposable gloves.
  • Eye protection.
  • Overalls.
  • Boots - no jandals!
  • Particle/droplet mask  - carbon filters unlikely to be necessary.
  • Hat.
  • Note:
    • PPE such as gloves, overalls, caps, eye protection, boots, etc. is designed to prevent contact with hazardous substances.
    • But if the PPE comes in contact with the hazardous substance/s it can become hazardous so it should be disposed of or washed before reuse. Fabric overalls may absorb liquid substances and allow them to penetrate to the skin and hold them against the skin. Overalls should be removed if they have absorbed liquids, the skin washed and new overalls used.
    • When removing gloves, overalls etc. do not contact the hazardous substance on the items.

Are products safe for pets?

  • All Kiwicare products are safe for pets when used as directed.
    For sprays we recommend keeping pets out of the area during application and until dry.
    For granular products keep pets out of the area until watered in.
    All baits should be placed where pets and other non-target animals cannot access it.
    All products should be stored out of the reach of pets.

When to apply sprays?

  • Low or no wind.
  • Rain not expected - 2 hours+.
  • Temperature – e.g. herbicides 10°C +.
  • Sunshine – Weed Weapon good light, Super Spraying Oil cool dull conditions.

How to apply sprays?

Read label instructions.

  • Consider spray drift –
    • Not blowing next door.
    • Herbicide not landing on desirable plants.
    • Not going into ponds or waterways – many insecticides and others very toxic in the aquatic environment.
  • Plan route – remove obstacles, mark lines on the lawn or use dye additive.
  • Do not over apply – no runoff.
  • The underside of leaves – mites, aphids.
  • Take care when applying above head height – consider wind direction, wear head/face protection, work backwards and away from droplet fall, etc.
  • Lawn applications – work away from treatment.

Should I use label rates?

Use label rates – concentration and volume of spray per metre.

  • Check before altering rates.
    • Applying lower rates may be less effective and require more applications.
    • Applying at higher rates may be unnecessary and no more effective.
    • Label rates are tested and chosen as optimal.
  • See the dilution rate table.

How often to apply?

Follow label guidelines.

  • Stop when the problem solved.
  • Are preventative treatments appropriate.
    • Preventative treatments may reduce the amount of spraying required – prevention is better than cure.
    • Choice of product/solution may reduce the need to spray/apply. – e.g. Driveway - Weed Weapon Long Term applied 2 x per year vs Extra Strength 4 + times.

How to protect beneficial insects?

Consider beneficial insect/pest insect balance.

  • Systemic insecticides.
    • Do not spray when plants in flower or coming into flower.
  • Non-systemic insecticides.
    • Do not apply to flowers likely to visited by bees.
  • Others e.g. Earthworms.
    • Lawnguard has very low toxicity to earthworms and protects .earthworms from cluster fly larvae that would parasitize them.

How to store products safely?

Keep all chemicals:

How to dispose of product and packaging safely?

  • Clean up spills.
    • Dilute and wash away?
    • Soak up in absorbent material, bag and bin?
  • Unused spray.
    • Only make up what is needed.
    • Use of the product is better than disposal – dispose of herbicide on weeds.
    • Dilute, dilute, dilute, dispose of!
  • Empty containers
    • Use up all product.
      • Triple rinse and bin.
    • Conc. The product still in the container.
      • Take to dump for safe disposal.
  • How to safely dispose of home and garden chemicals and containers.

What is the NZ EPA?

  • Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
    • Approve all hazardous substances.
    • Assess use by home gardeners – worst-case scenario.
      • Safe for users?
      • Safe for bystanders?
      • Safe for the environment?
      • In storage, transport and in use.
    • Hazards – Safety Data Sheet (note: on the substance in container e.g. conc. Not diluted spray).
    • Conditions for use.
      • HSR number found on products defines hazards and precautions.
      • The HSR numbers can be checked on the EPA website.

What is the ACVM?

  • Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) of NZFSA
    • Registration of products for use on crops and animal foodstuffs – vegetables, fruit, pasture.
    • Specified crops and pests.
    • Ensure any residues that could get in food are not harmful.

What is the difference between Organic and Natural?

Kiwicare Organic products are certified for use in organic growing.

  • BioGro Certified Inputs for Organics.
  • Organic and natural products often have hazards.

Are homemade formulations safe?

  • There may be no testing or approval.
  • Some are safe, some may not be.

These are questions that are commonly asked of Kiwicare Customer Service, store staff, sales team and others regarding pest control and Kiwicare products. We hope you will find the answers you are looking for here. If you don't, please contact us.

Looking for something specific? Contact us for more help.

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