Landscapers should start taking steps now to prepare for the slower winter season. Autumn is a good time for taking care of tasks such as equipment storage, cleaning, and proper winter storage of landscape chemicals. Once fall fertilization and other tasks are finished, pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and other dangerous chemicals should be stored properly. Valley Green carries all the items listed above and our staff has multiple years of experience in proper landscape chemical storage. Because of this, we wanted the focus of our article this week to be on proper winter storage of landscape chemicals.
Proper Winter Storage of Landscape Chemicals
Where to store landscape chemicals
When choosing the place to store chemicals over winter, you should choose a place that is secure, ventilated, well lit, and protected from extreme cold. There should also be ample space to properly separate the chemicals. The location should also be in a space that will not compromise water or soil quality if any of the chemicals accidentally spill. There should be no sources that could produce a spark or open flame as some of the chemicals could be extremely flammable. You’ll also want to check the manufacturer’s storage advice on the chemical label.
Make sure the landscape chemical containers are not damaged
All chemical storage containers should be checked on a regular basis. It is especially important to check them before winter storage so there are no spills over winter. The chemicals should be stored in their original containers if at all possible. The original containers will have safety labels on the back that include proper handling instructions. If the original containers are damaged, you’ll want to safely transfer the chemicals to a better container and obtain a copy of the safety label to place on the container. Be sure to clearly label the container with the title of what is inside it.
Make a list before you store the landscape chemicals for the winter
Make sure to take note of the inventory of the chemicals you are storing. The list should include, product name, active ingredients, purchase date, and what volume has been stored. Keeping this inventory will help you to plan for a successful growing season next spring. If you find that you have an excessive amount of certain products, it might be wise to try the “less is more” purchase method for the next season. Many landscapers only purchase single containers of the chemicals they need so that they don’t have to deal with storing them over the winter.
If you find that you need to dispose of certain chemicals over winter, you should contact your local waste management authority to find out the proper disposal method. You can also check out the EPA website which has more information.
Here are a few more pieces of advice for chemical storage.
- Don’t reuse pesticide containers.
- Never pour them down the sink, sewer, or toilet.
- Follow the disposal instructions on the label.