The Q&A Archives: Accidental Poisoning

Question: My husband and myself bought some fertilizer for our lawn. We had looked at so many different bags, some for grass only and some for grass and gardens. After buying a bag, we went home and spread it generously throughout the lawn AND the flower garden. A couple of days past and I noticed alot of the plants didn't look too good. They were wilting. At first I couldn't figure out why, I gave them plenty of water. They are dying. I went into the garage to read the bag to see if maybe it could tell me why. The bag we bought was weed and feed. I don't know how we managed that. Maybe looking at too many bags, we didn't notice which one we got. So now my wall to wall of color is dying. Is there ANYTHING I can do to try to save some of them? Please help. Some of the plants I have had for along time, they took quite awhile to grow. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Answer: I think there are several lessons to be learned here. First, it's important to read the label prior to purchasing a product and then to read it again before applying the product. Second, it's important to apply in amounts as recommended on the label. Using too much of a weed and feed product can overwhelm even healthy grasses and damage them beyond repair. Weed and feed products contain both selective and non-selective herbicides. These chemicals cause the same reaction to plants, whether they are considered weeds or desireable plants in your garden. I'm afraid the damage is already done and there's not much you can do to stop it. You can try to flood the remaining product out of the soil, but the residual herbicide will simply have to degrade on its own. I can't predict the extent of the damage to your plants; some may recover and some may have to be replaced. You may even want to contact your local Cooperative Extension office for help. They can test your soil and determine whether it should be replaced (and to what depth) so that residual herbicides won't continue to kill any plants you plant to replace those you've lost. Wish I had more positive news to share with you!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"