A Cautionary Tale About Weed Killers

I’ll be the first to tell you–I have no idea what particular weed killers were used here.  And I don’t know if the bed was sprayed once or twice, but I know it was sprayed once at least because this bed has had an ongoing problem with horsetail, nutsedge and other very persistent weeds.  I saw a layer of pesticide-killed–not hand pulled– weeds before the mulch was put down.

Despite the mulching, in fact, there are new shoots of nutsedge poking through–after only 8 days.  That’s how persistent nutsedge is, sadly, and how ineffective  weed killers can be on what you’re trying to kill.

This homeowner, one of my neighbors, uses a landscaper that doesn’t even have a name on his truck, never mind a license number.  For all I know, he’s a son of theirs.  He comes by once  a week, usually on a Thursday, and rolls a mower out of a pickup and mows and “weed whacks” around the beds.

Three weeks ago I noticed all the weeds in the bed were killed off.  10 days ago I noticed the new mulch.  And now this–a dead rose.  You can bet it’s not a coincidence.

One of 3 things happened:

  • pesticide drift got onto the rose;
  • the pesticides applied were inappropriate for use in a mixed planting and that’s what killed the rose (for example, a nutsedge killer shouldn’t be used in landscape beds); or
  • the application rates of the pesticide chosen were inappropriate and that killed the plant.

In any case, whenever using pesticides, particularly ones that are labeled for lawn weeds like nutsedge or ones that are labeled for “season long” control, please read and follow all label instructions.  Plant loss is really only the beginning of issues that you can have.

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