Safe landscaping

Add personality to your landscape safely by viewing our risk management resources below.

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Safe Landscaping:

Gardening is one of New Zealand’s most popular activities. It not only lets us enjoy nature, it also provides genuine health benefits, from eating our own fresh home grown produce and exercise.


Plus the added bonus of increased well-being from the pleasure of nurturing our own plants and watching them grow in our own garden environment. Like everything, there are some health risks involved in gardening. These include unwelcome organisms such as Tetanus and Legionnaires Disease. So some precautions should be taken to remain safe and healthy when gardening.


Of particular relevance to users of our products is the rare but possible risk of contracting Legionnaires Disease. There is no known method of eliminating this from mulch, compost or potting mix during manufacture.


As Legionnaires Disease is a naturally occurring organism, it is not particular to any one brand or type of mulch, compost or potting mix. It can be present in home composting bins, all common brands sold in retail outlets or bulk supplies sold through landscape yards. While it is extremely rare and healthy gardeners can become immune, caution needs to be taken by older gardeners, those with low immunity or chronic illness and smokers.


By following these simple guidelines below the risk can be minimised and the full benefits of gardening enjoyed.

  • Minimise the amount of dust when working in the garden.
  • Water your garden and indoor plants using a gentle spray.
  • Read all warnings on bags of mulch, compost and potting mix.
  • Wear gloves when handling mulch, compost and potting mix.
  • If concerned, wear a dust mask when opening bags or using mulch, compost or potting mix, to avoid inhaling dust.
  • Open bags of mulch, compost and potting mix slowly and away from the face.
  • Dampen mulch, compost and potting mixes before use.
  • Make sure the working area (glasshouse, potting shed) is well ventilated.
  • See your doctor immediately if you develop a flu-like illness that is worsening. Antibiotics are effective against Legionnaires Disease if given early.

Health & Safety:

In general, gardening is an activity that is very positive in terms of health and well-being. People who take up gardening can expect to gain strength, flexibility and a higher level of general fitness. Most people find gardening relaxing and enjoy a sense of achievement as their efforts bear fruit. Then of course there are the health benefits of food fresh from the garden which has not lost nutrients during transportation or storage. However, like virtually any other activity there are risks of gardening. This page is designed to help you minimise them.

To Summarise:

  • Ensure that compost, potting mix etc is damp so to minimise exposure to dusts
  • It is advisable to wear a mask when handling compost etc
  • Always cover cuts, grazes etc before gardening
  • Carefully clean any cuts or scratches you may sustain while gardening
  • Pregnant women should always wear gloves while gardening
  • Always wash your hands well after gardening