How do I Apply Fungicide to my Garden?

S. Mithra

Anyone whose garden suffers from rust, mildew, blight, or scab can successfully apply fungicide with a few simple tips. Take preventative measures to ensure your plants or lawn don't succumb to a fungus before you properly treat them. Armed with a handheld pressure spray and a bottle of consumer-friendly fungicide, you can strengthen and protect your garden year-round.

Rubber gloves should be worn when applying fungicide to a garden.
Rubber gloves should be worn when applying fungicide to a garden.

No matter what advice you receive, thoroughly read the label that comes with your fungicide product. The label gives you specific advice on the contents of the bottle, mixing ratios, and directions on spraying. It's the premiere authority on what protective gear to wear, how to dispose of unused portions, and what to do if you think you have been improperly exposed. Different fungicides treat different types of fungus, although there are some all-purpose varieties. Try to accurately identify from what infections your plants are suffering in order to select the right type.

Fungicides can be applied to a garden using a spray bottle.
Fungicides can be applied to a garden using a spray bottle.

Most fungicide sprays aren't deadly, but they can damage your lungs, skin, and clothing if spilled or inhaled. Always wear long sleeves, rubber gloves, eye covering, and heavy boots. Mix the dry powder with water away from wind that might make the particles airborne. After every application, wash your entire body and any items that have come in contact with fungicide. If you follow directions, you won't suffer any adverse consequences.

Generally speaking, the steps to applying fungicide to your garden are mixing, pouring it into a spray tool, applying it to the surface of plants, and cleaning up. Combine the exact amount of fungicide with devoted measuring scoops. Never guess on the ratios. More fungicide isn't better; it might just burn or damage your plants. Use a separate sprayer than you use for plant food or insecticide because these chemicals shouldn't mix.

During spraying, pump the compression system and spray an even, fine mist over the leaves and stems of the targeted plants or onto grass blades of the lawn. You want to thoroughly wet the top and underside of each leaf without letting the fungicide pool on the ground. When you're finished, completely wash and rinse the entire spray system, including the reservoir, hose, and nozzle, with several batches of clear water.

Some additional tips might help you avoid common mishaps. Test your sprayer with ordinary water to make sure it doesn't clog or leak from the connections between the hose and reservoir. Through experience, you'll learn how much to mix so there isn't any left, because you don't want to dump that portion into a gutter or septic system. Keep a calendar and mark off the days on which you'll want to reapply fungicide so an infection doesn't have a chance to take hold.

To avoid chemical fungicide treatments altogether, try organic alternatives. Keep your plants trimmed, with trailing vines tacked up, since free circulation of air reduces unwanted humidity and can prevent fungal infections. Clear fallen leaves and other debris that keep soil from drying out between watering.

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