Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Using Chemicals

The party is over and now gardening is just work. There are many plants yet to bloom in the garden, but now we have to water, and deal with weeds and insect problems.

I found a few Japanese beetles on my asters, tho none on the roses yet. Last year I used Bayer Tree and Shrub systemic on the roses. It lasts for 12 months and it kept the beetles from chewing on the leaves but did not prevent them from eating the flowers. (In a side note, we wondered at a staff meeting if this meant using systemics on vegetables would be okay since if the chemical didn't get into the flower it wouldn't get into the fruit. I suggested an experiment but I couldn't get any volunteers. So don't try that at home, either.)

Whenever you apply chemicals it is really important to read the label and follow the directions. Make sure you water your plants thoroughly before applying the chemical. The chemicals are taken in through stomas on the plant leaf and move through the plant via its vascular system. If the plant is suffering from drought the chemical won't be as effective.

Since most chemicals have a petroleum-based carrier, apply the chemical either early in the morning or late in the evening, so that the chemical has a chance to dry before being hit by sunlight, otherwise you will burn the leaves and further stress the plant.

Heat can also affect how well the plant absorbs the chemical. When it is hot stomas close up to prevent moisture loss and chemicals sprayed when the temperature is over 85 degrees will not be as effectives as when sprayed when it is cooler.

Chemicals today are manufactured to use the least amount of chemical to get the maximum benefit. And they aren't cheap. So make the most of the money you spend on them by using them correctly and most effectively.


April said...

This is a very technical and detailed article. I assume you are getting your information from the manufacturer, but you don't site sources....just wondering. Lots of good information overall.

countrysidegardener said...

I often joke at work that "I am no horticulturist," but our boss (who is) does a great job of providing us with information about the products we sell and how to use them. That is one of the benefits at shopping at your locally owned, independent garden center. They hire knowledgable people and keep up the training because they know that is what separates us from the box stores and it is what our customers expect of us. Thanks for your comment. Leslie