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Accidentally Used Herbicide Instead of Fertilizer on Lawn

I accidentally used herbicide instead of fertilizer, my grass is beginning to yellow. Is there any way to reverse the effects?

By Don


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May 20, 20110 found this helpful

Yikes! I don't think anything can be done, besides hoping that your herbicide isn't too effective. Why don't you look up your local county extension office and give them a call? It should be easy to find online.

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

A big oops. You have killed your lawn, and there isn't anything you can do beside water the bejeeburs out of the areas you've sprayed in hopes of flushing any residual herbicide out of the soil. You'll have bare spots everywhere you sprayed, and you shouldn't try to replant anytime soon. After everything is finished dying, treat the areas with a good compost, digging it to at least 18". Do that two or three times a week apart, then sow with some kind of 'green manure' type grass seed like rye.


Let those blades get about three-five inches long, then till the grass into the soil. Give it a couple of weeks to break down completely in the soil, and feed the soil with nitrogen in the process. Then replant with your preferred grass, for the best results.

These kinds of accidents happen in the home garden when chemicals are transferred from the commercial container to an old mayonnaise (or similar) jar. Never transfer a chemical from it's commercial and properly marked container to a recycled container-it is next to impossible to mark that recycled container reliably. Someone could spill the chemical, and cause the marking to be washed away. Someone could pull the homemade masking tape label off.

At the very least, by transferring chemical to an unmarked, recycled container, you have lost the vital emergency information printed by law on the original container. Or when a home sprayer is used-some folks leave the leftover chemical in the sprayer, then forget what is in it, then use it days later thinking it's what they need at the moment. It very rarely is. And it's hard to reliably recall what you did last in the garden with that sprayer.


Never leave leftover chemical in a home sprayer-it breaks down to a useless state, or becomes something different and potentially toxic to your garden, and you. Worse, some of the 'cides out there, if left in the sprayer, will etch and permeate the plastic of the sprayer. You'll be left with a sprayer you can only use for that particular 'cide. This is such a common occurence many landscape maintenance companies have different sprayers for each type of 'cide and other chemicals (feeds, etc).

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June 1, 20110 found this helpful

Always read the directions every time you use any pesticide product! If you have the original label, it may tell you how long to wait to replant. Otherwise, you get to have a spotty looking lawn until fall when you should be able to re-seed. Expensive lesson in "oops".

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