Use of pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilisers

Pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilisers can be helpful when clearing and cultivating an allotment, however they can also be hazardous and have environmental implications.

We recommend trying to minimise the use of pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilisers, or reduce the levels of use over time. If you do use them, remember they are not a quick fix and should only be used in specific situations - try to keep use to a minimum and always be mindful of the following important safety advice.

Safety when using commercial products

  • Always keep products in their original containers
  • Follow the instructions for use carefully
  • Do not estimate amounts -measure them carefully
  • Use personal protective clothing and gloves
  • Wash hands after use and wash off any splashes immediately
  • Store out of the reach of children and locked away securely
  • Ensure you are not contaminating your neighbours’ plots or local watercourses
  • Consider the potential harm to wildlife, pets and children before use
  • Check old products to ensure they have not been banned
  • Contact your local waste management and recycling centre for disposal advice

Banned Slug and Snail Killer products containing Metaldehyde

  • From April 2022, it is illegal to sell, supply or use slug pellets containing metaldehyde for outdoor use in the UK, including on allotments
  • It is illegal to store and use an unauthorised product containing metaldehyde purchased from outside the UK either via the Internet or in person. It is also illegal for the buyer to sell on such products on in the UK
  • Metaldehyde products include Slug and Snail baits, which come in granular, liquid, spray, dust, pellet, meal, gel or paste forms. The product is often dyed, usually found as a blue or green colour.
  • Product names for slug pellets for home garden use containing metaldehyde that is affected by this ban include: Ultimate Slug and Snail Killer, Deadfast Slug Killer, Doff Slug Killer Blue Mini Pellets and Westland Eraza Slug and Snail Killer.
  • Not all slug pellets are banned – only those containing metaldehyde – so organic slug pellets based on ferric phosphate remain a legal alternative for gardeners.
  • If you have any banned slug pellets at the back of the shed, please refer to the council’s recycling and waste management information to find out how to safely dispose of them. Find your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre 

Withdrawn chemicals

Occasionally chemicals available to gardeners are withdrawn from sale or use. It is good practice to check in the shed on a regular basis to ensure such products are disposed of safely.

Details of withdrawn chemicals can be found on the RHS website.

For information on sites where chemicals can be disposed of please visit: