26 September 2023

Agriculture plants warning for gardeners

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Agriculture Victoria has issued a warning to home gardeners to take care with chemical products as seedling sales at nurseries surge.

State wide Chemicals Specialist at Agriculture Victoria, Steven Field said the growing interest in gardening had increased vegetable seedling sales from nurseries, which was in turn expected to increase the number of people treating pests and diseases in their gardens.

“Home gardeners should take care to read and follow the instructions on the labels of pesticides they are using to ensure safe use,” Mr Field said.

“The instructions are there to manage the risks of using a pesticide,” he said.

“If you don’t follow the label instructions you may increase the risk to yourself and others unnecessarily.”

Mr Field recommended people check for the following before using a product:-

* Only use the pesticide on crops that are specified on the label;

* Use the right application rate for the specific pest/crop combination;

* Use the right Personal Protective Equipment as specified on the label;

* Follow any withholding periods specified on the label; and

* Adhere to all ‘DO NOT’ statements listed on the label.

He said withholding periods were the amount of time that must elapse between when the crop was sprayed and when it could be harvested.

“Following the withholding period is critical as it allows the pesticide to breakdown to an appropriate level,” he said.

Mr Field said there were also a number of highly effective non-chemical control options worth considering when dealing with pests and diseases, which would help to reduce the reliance on pesticides.

More information about safe chemical use can be accessed on the Agriculture Victoria website at this PS News link.

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