Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today I Learned (TIL)

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.

pesticide free zone
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.


  1. I've learned it too and will pass this on to my neighbor..

  2. I just became a MG in Potter County (Amarillo) three weeks ago. I loved all the neat things we learned. Good luck in your future workshops!

  3. And I've learned it too. ;) We have to be pesticide free here because we have fish (koi) and dogs, and we have neighbors whose bees come to visit.

    I'm going to have to take the course vicariously through you... I can't get to the classes in our state which are an hour away and not on any route for public transportation. So study hard... I'm peeking over your shoulder!

  4. Wow, that's interesting. I'm enjoying your TIL's. Is Pat Mokry teaching any of your classes? Laura

  5. Darla, we're all still learning, right? We trainees have been told we won't really assimilate the knowledge we're learning until they let us loose to teach others in our county what we've learned. (Through TIL, I'm trying to get a head start on that!)

    Kathie, congratulations on your accomplishment! Have you gone through your internship yet?

    Cathy and Steve, my TIL posts are just the teeniest tinyest tip of the iceberg of what I'm learning. It's an amazing amount of information. It's really hard to decide each week what to post about. I'm learning some fascinating stuff.

    Laura, Pat's one of the two coordinators for our group, so although she's not teaching a class, she's at all our sessions, helping to herd us cats. Love Pat!