Store garden chemicals safely for the winter

Last Updated: 
March 7, 2003

CORVALLIS - Now that the gardening season has calmed down, you might want to think about safely storing those gardening chemicals for the winter.

Here are some pesticide safety tips from the Oregon State University's National Pesticide Information Center and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs:

  • Think before you buy your next pesticides and fertilizers. Do you really need the chemicals you are purchasing? Are there less toxic ways to accomplish pest control or add to soil fertility? Finding least toxic ways to do things or buying smaller amounts of gardening chemicals may help you have fewer leftovers to dispose of or store. And it helps the environment.
  • Always store pesticides, fertilizers and other household chemicals out of children's reach, preferably in a locked cabinet, somewhere where they won't freeze.
  • Never transfer chemicals or fertilizers to other containers, especially to those that children may associate with food or drink, such as soda bottles.
  • If you want to dispose of unneeded or unusable chemicals or fertilizers, it is more environmentally sound to bring them to a community-sponsored hazardous household waste disposal day, rather than throw them in the trash. Watch your local paper or call your landfill for the next scheduled local event.

Do you have any pesticide-related questions? Have trouble understanding label instructions? Want to know potential toxic effects, impacts on the environment, alternatives to chemical pesticide or storage and disposal requirements? Call the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378. Operating out of OSU's Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, NPIC takes calls from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week, except holidays. Or find NPIC on the Web:

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Terry Miller