Science Says

Garden products from the bad old days

Suzanne8 comments1213 views
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I’m packing up to move, so it’s time to decide which of these gardening products I’ll be taking with me and which deserve to be sealed tightly at the bottom of a landfill somewhere.  In my defense, I bought most of these 15-25 years ago, before I knew enough to question the safety of all this stuff, or even the need for them.  Before I’d gotten religion in the garden.


Here’s the Dirty Two Dozen or so.  Readers, would you take any of these with you to your next garden?  (I’ll venture a keep-worthy list below)


  • Liquid Sevin
  • Sevin Dust
  • Ortho Systemic Insect Killer
  • Spectracide Insect Control
  • Ortho Orthene Systemic insect Control
  • Quick-Kill Mosquito pellets
  • Dragon Cygon 2-E Systemic Insecticide
  • Safer Caterpillar Killer
  • Bon-Neem Insecticidal Soap
  • Bonide All-Seasons Spray Oil


  • Ortho Weed-B-Gon – 3 of them
  • Ortho Poison Ivy and Oak Killer – 2 cans
  • Ortho Grass-B-Gone
  • Ortho Triox Vegetation Killer
  • Bonide stump and Vine Killer
  • Various formulations of Round-up – 4 of them.  (Why all the duplicates?  One messy toolshed.)



  • Ortho Funginex Rose Disease control
  • Dragon Copper Fungicide
  • Infuse Systemic Disease Control
  • Dragon Benomyl Disease Control
  • Ortho Multi-Purpose Fungicide


  • Ortho Rose Pride
  • Miracle Gro Rose Food
  • Dynamite Fertilizer

Plus 2 bottles of the unclassifiable FreezePruf and not pictured, three different deer repellent products.  And sitting in my garage is a bag of Hollytone.

Proposed Keepers

  • Neem insecticidal soap – it’s fairly harmless, right?  And who knows what critters await me in my next garden?
  • Bonide All-Seasons Spray Oil – ditto.
  • Hollytone

Pretty short list.  I’ll happily donate my deer sprays to neighbors, since there aren’t any where I’m going.  Ditto the Round-up, since I’m leaving behind the scourge of poison ivy – the one plant I used it on. 

Posted by

Susan Harris
on December 6, 2011 at 5:46 am, in the category Gardening on the Planet, Taking Your Gardening Dollar.


  1. I would’ve kept the same things, plus a thing of round-up (there always seems to be some perennial weed that resists any other method of control). I would love to do this to several sheds I’ve come across, but never align those with hazardous waste clean-up drops.

  2. That’s quite a group of chemicals. I haven’t seen Triox or Cygon in years. Safer Caterpillar Killer is BT, so if it’s not more than a year old I would take that with the others you are taking.

  3. I totally would avoid sending that shelf of poison to a landfill.
    I’d find the correct place for that stuff. I’d maybe offer that junk on freecycle, and what nobody wanted would definitely go to the hazardous waste peeps.

  4. Years ago (about 30) a friend getting her Ph.D. in soil science told me of a study comparing the output of an organically maintained acre versus a synthetic product maintained one. For the first five years, the one using synthetics outperformed the organic. However, the output of the organic was increasing while that of the other was decreasing. By about the seventh year, the two acres matched production. After that the organic continued to increase production, eventually outperforming that of the synthetic’s best year, while the synthetic’s production remained low. How many of us have ten years to test this? On the other hand, despite a title to land bearing our names, do we really “own” it and have the right to do whatever we please, forgetting the rights of future generations? Of course, then I think of my other friends, fighting kudzu, who cut it back to two feet from the ground, stuck the end in Round-Up, and finally cleared their area of this pest, while their neighbors’ yards were a mountain of vines. (I know; way too long.)

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