Health and Safety
Following these health and safety points to have a safe work space will prevent the spread of pests and disease and ensure the health of you and your seedlings.
To make sure your growing experience is SAFE it is important to maintain a high standard of hygiene, so please:
- Wash your hands after handling potting mix
- Be sure potting mix is damp to prevent inhaling dust
- Work in a ventilated area (though not in the wind as seeds may blow away)
- Do not to put anything in your mouth whilst working with the potting mix
- If you have respiratory problems, wear a dust mask (available at hardware stores, chemist)
- Store your seeds away from children.
When setting up and caring for your seedlings try not to introduce non-indigenous pests and diseases such as pathogens, parasites and weeds into your seedling tubes.
Remember, most noxious weeds escape from ornamental gardens, so the risk is very real!
To make sure your growing environment is disease and pest free, please:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before you start;
- ONLY use indigenous potting mix — NO Garden soil, compost, etc.
- Grow your seedlings OFF the ground, either in a concrete or paved area or a raised bench;
- Mix the fertilizer and potting mix in a clean wheelbarrow or on a clean bench-top — NOT on the ground;
- Wash the bench-tops, trowels and other tools, with disinfectant (household bleach 20 ml per litre) or tea-tree oil;
- Do not let ordinary garden soil come into contact with your potting mix as this may introduce contaminates;
- Wash your hands in between handling different batches of seed;
- Carefully dispose of any seed pre-treatment water.
All potting mix carries bacteria or pathogens such as Legionnaires which is active when airborne. To prevent infection keep the mixture damp to keep dust down and handle it in a ventilated area (dust masks can be worn).
Seedlings may come under attack from insects, mildews or fungi. If you use any commercial preparations or chemicals please follow the manufacturer’s directions and keep them safe from children and pets and remember to carefully dispose of any empty containers.
Even though the slow release fertiliser is low in toxicity you should still wash your hands after use and keep it away from children or pets.
Some seed banks use pesticides to protect their seeds in storage. Although these seeds are safe, washing your hands, using a mask (available at chemists, hardware or supermarkets), wearing gloves and keeping seeds away from children and pets is good practice. Remember to always wash hands after and between handling different batches of seed to avoid cross contamination and thoughtfully dispose of pre-treatment water.
Full boxes weigh approximately 12 Kilograms so when you lift any boxes keep your back straight and knees bent.
Note: if you have back trouble or find the boxes too heavy, please ask someone for help, remember that your back is precious!
If you construct your own bench, please ensure that it is sturdy enough to support the 7 boxes weighing around 80 kilograms (TreeProject Kit). An insecure wobbly bench can potentially cause injury to children, pets or yourself. It is best for the bench waist height for easy handling of boxes and seedlings.