Connect with Metro
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax
Image of family enjoying a garden

Is your garden product toxic?

Tools for living    Natural gardening    Is your garden product toxic?

Metro’s Grow Smart, Grow Safe guide is now a searchable interactive directory, too. Discover the least hazardous products and practices for a healthy, productive garden and a safer yard.

Challenge yourself

Got pesky slugs? Leaf blight? Weeds? Time to take them on without toxic chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides can harm people and pets and pollute the environment. From planting pest-resistant native plants to choosing natural compost over synthetic fertilizers, organic gardening helps keep toxics out of waterways and soil and off plants and lawns, creating more livable neighborhoods. By gardening with nature and reducing reliance on harmful chemicals, it’s easier to conserve water, attract beneficial wildlife and keep a kid-friendly yard.

Explore solutions

Grow smart, grow safe, published in partnership with the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Wash., takes the guesswork out of nontoxic solutions to common garden problems. The sixth edition and its new online interactive version ranks hundreds of fertilizers, pesticides and soil amendments to help home gardeners, urban farmers and professional landscapers find lawn and garden products least hazardous to people, pets, wildlife and waterways. In addition, regional experts share tips on simply and safely making the most out of your garden and soil.

Visit the interactive directory

Remember key tips

Using safer alternatives to toxic chemicals makes a difference in the garden:

  • Compost and mulch build healthy soil and reduce the need for water.
  • Tools and a little elbow grease can keep weeds and harmful bugs at bay without the need for toxics.
  • Native plants resist many pests and diseases, reducing the risk of garden problems.
  • Newer nontoxic products – iron phosphate slug bait instead of poisonous metaldehyde, for example – can tackle slugs without the use of harmful chemicals.

Get started on safer alternatives today with Metro’s limited-time natural gardening coupon for discounts on compost, native plants and hand-weeding tools at more than 30 Portland metropolitan area retailers. Get the coupon

Download the Grow smart, grow safe guide

To view PDF files, download free Adobe Reader. To translate PDF files into text to assist visually-impaired users, visit

To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.

Need assistance?

Metro Recycling Information
Send a message

Related Internet links

© 2014 Metro. All rights reserved.

Send questions, comments and suggestions about the website to

600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232-2736
503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax