Pesticides aren’t the most pleasant part of life on the farm, but they’re an important part of making sure your crops stay protected against the ravages of vermin and the changing seasons. With the right knowhow and equipment, pesticides can be used to extend the life of your harvest without compromising the taste or safety of your produce. We’ll go over how to apply pesticides to the benefit of your crops, and your customers, at Fruit Growers Supply.
Getting the Basics Down
Anyone who wants to know the dos and don’ts of pesticide safety should study the EPA’s specialized guide on the subject. You can greatly reduce the risk of hazard to yourself by keeping food and drink away from your formula, always mixing the pesticide in a well-ventilated area, and carefully following the instructions on whatever brand you happen to be using. The first rule of learning how to apply pesticides is to first do no harm to yourself!
Use a Light Touch
The old maxim “less is more” definitely applies when it comes to using crop pesticides safely and effectively. A light coating should be all you need to keep your fruits and veggies safe from the elements without altering their taste or safety of consumption. Different brands have different criteria for the amount of volume you should use, so once again, pay attention to the labels!
Wax On, No Wax Off
One element of learning how to apply pesticides is figuring out what you can do to maximize the solution’s effectiveness and make a little of the spray go a longer way. Fruit wax can be a phenomenal resource in this regard: it’s an organic way of preserving the aesthetics of your crops and keeping them from harm, and many waxes have little to no toxic contents in their formula and are completely taste-free. Using fruit wax in conjunction with your vermin repellent of choice can make figuring out how to apply pesticides a much simpler proposition.
Picking the Right Brand
Not every type of pesticide is going to be designed with exactly the same purpose in mind. For example, some pesticides are made to be put on your crops, but other kinds are made to be put on home lawns, and others are even specialized to be used on house plants! Don’t just pick up the first bottle you see that says it’s designed to kill bugs: research which pesticide brand you want to use before you go figuring out how to apply pesticides on your own crops.
Cleaning Up Afterwards
Crop pesticides are no joke when it comes to handling, and that means you’ll always want to make sure everything that’s come into contact with them has been sanitized thoroughly after use. Thoroughly clean all hoses and bottles you’ve used to spread the pesticide with, and always shower and wash any clothes that have come into contact with the formula. You can learn more about the cleanup procedures that come with safely figuring out how to apply pesticides by reading this paper from the University of Illinois.
It’s All in the Timing
Knowing how much and what kind of pesticide to use is obviously important, but just as vital is knowing when you should put it on your crops and in what kinds of intervals it should be refreshed. There are different schools of thought on this—some say you should use it only when you see pests, and others believe it should be implemented far more frequently—but the University of Massachusetts suggests that you should refresh your sprays every 2 to 3 weeks. Of course, like everything when it comes to how to apply pesticides, reading the label on the spray you buy will be very important in this regard as well.
The Bottom Line
Working with pesticides is a big responsibility that requires a huge dose of diligence and common sense. As long as you make sure to spray lightly, thoroughly clean yourself and your materials after use, and follow all pertinent instructions for the brand you decide to use, crop pesticides will serve you well in keeping your harvest safe from harm and delivering tasty, nutritious food to your community in equal measure. Learning how to apply pesticides properly can be a great thing for making sure your crops stay edible and financially viable all year round, so take these steps to heart and prepare for a great harvest!
Trust the Experts at Fruit Growers Supply
For over a century, Fruit Growers Supply has been supplying farmers and agriculturalists with the tools and advice they need to produce the food that California needs. Our state has a proud legacy of being a center of gravity for the country’s organic food, and we try to live up to that heritage every day at FGS. You won’t just learn how to apply pesticides when you join the FGS family: you’ll get the prices and follow up service you need to make sure each and every harvest you grow is the most bountiful it can be.
If you’d like to know more about how Fruit Growers Supply can be of service to your farm or agricultural project, get in touch with us today. Crop pesticides are just one of the things we have to offer in an inventory that spans multiple stores and countless needs no matter what you’re searching for. Leave a comment if you have questions or stories of your own about how to apply pesticides, and stay with Fruit Growers Supply for the best products and services at a price you can rely on.