Today I learned that the term "pesticide" includes a lot of stuff that I didn't know were pesticides. I knew insecticides were pesticides, but there's lots more pests than just insects. Other pests include birds (pests to some people! not me!), fungus, weeds, mites, mollusks (like slugs and snails), nematodes, fish (pests to some people! not me! well, ok, maybe Asian carp), animals and rodents.
So now I have to go take this "Pesticide-Free Zone" sign off my back gate, because I'm a big fat liar. Although I don't use insecticides, I've used fungicides. I've used Sluggo to kill slugs. And yes, I've used glyphosate to try and kill bermuda grass. It didn't work. It killed the green stolons or runners on the top of the soil, but it didn't kill all the rhizomes deep, deep beneath the soil, so it came right back.
Speaking of glyphosate, the other thing I learned is that when stored in galvanized steel containers, glyphosate can explode. Glyphosate reacts with the galvanized steel to form hydrogen gas, which is highly combustible. It's right on the label, in the Directions for Use section. So don't do that!
(Today I Learned features a nugget of information I learned during training to become a Travis County Master Gardener.)
Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.