aa17
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Can my garden/flowers be saved?

I'm very new to gardening. Earlier this spring I sprayed weed killer on the lawn to kill dandilions. It worked great. So after the past two weekends working on my garden, pulling weeds, making it look perfect, I decided to spray everything down with the same weed killer just to ensure that weeds wouldn't come back.

Needless to say my flower bed and vegetables are looking very sad two days after I sprayed. Here's the status of my plants.

Larger perennials - still standing and green - but I'm still worried about them

Impatients - flat on the ground almost certainly dead

Beautiful pink Maui habiscus that I just planted to show off to my fiance and her family when they come - still standing, flowers are shut and look sad, but still look like they are trying to bloom. The one flower that had bloomed when I planted it fell off the next day after spraying. I really hope I can save this plant because they didn't have any nearly as beautiful at the store.

Roma tomatoes, hot peppers, basil - still there but look weak. They look smaller, or maybe just more curled up than when I planted them. When the vegetables do grow, will I be safe to eat them?

Is there any hope for my flowers, plants, or vegetables? Do I have to get all new dirt if I need to replant?

Thank you.

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Welcome to the Helpful Gardener forum. :)

Changing the soil probably won't do much, if any, good. Most weed killers that are sprayed on the foliage of the plant are absorbed through the leaves and stems. The sap of the plant moves the herbicide down into the roots, which also die. If you're already seeing damage to the leaves and stems, then the herbicide has been absorbed and is doing its work. IMO, it would be next to impossible to stop the progression of damage at this point, but of course, I could be wrong.

I'm very sorry to hear of your sad experience. :(
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rootsy
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Location: Litchfield, Michigan

I imagine you most likely applied 2-4D, probably with some dicamba along for the ride... If so.. any broadleaf in your garden is toast... You'll have lovely grasses though. Apologize for being the bringer of bad news.

Always read and follow the label to the letter when using chemicals of any sort.

aa17
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Ouch. Thanks for the replies. I'll see what happens.

aa17
Newly Registered
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Lesson: Weed n' Feed does not mean it feeds flowers and plants.

sigh

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freedhardwoods
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Location: Southwest IN

rootsy wrote:Always read and follow the label to the letter when using chemicals of any sort.
Remember what he said. You have to know what you have before you put it on. Sorry you lost your garden.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

next time mulch

Next time after you've pulled weeds, lay down a good layer of organic mulch (bark chips or whatever) to keep the weeds from coming back. It's not perfect, doesn't mean you will never see a weed again, but definitely slows them way down. And the mulch will break down and add to your soil.

You are at least the third person who has posted a very similar story to this, this season. I hope more people will start thinking about working with nature to make a self-sustaining garden instead of automatically reaching for destructive chemicals, creating a garden that will be constantly dependent on more chemical inputs.

If you do get any veggies, which seems a little doubtful, I wouldn't eat them. The poison is absorbed into the plant's system, that's how it works.

aa17
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Good news! I think my habiscus is going to make it! Also my perennials, except for one, still look pretty good. The vegetables and the impatients are a lost cause, but I only had a few small plants. But all the bigger stuff that I was really worried about I think might survive. Whew!

I've definitely learned a lesson though. I will stick to pulling weeds in the garden manually. I'll think about the mulch...but that will make it harder for me to dig things up next year if I want to make some changes.

On the other hand the weed killer worked great on the grass. Still haven't seen one dandilion.

Thanks for the tips!

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