First KILL

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by rcreech, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    Well....this is my 5th year in lawncare and I never have never received the dreaded phone call from a customer about killing their flowers or anything in their garden......

    Until a phone call I received a few days ago!

    DANG IT, I screwed up!

    Not sure how it happened, other then I just got too close or a wind drift.

    This is my first time, and I was totally sick about it. Customer called and said I smoked some tomatoes. I went over there, and sure enough I did!

    Does this happen much to you guys?

    How do you handle these situations?

    My good buddy on here (Grassguy) gave me a great idea. Said to buy here some tomatoes.

    How do you guys handle?
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I smoked some petunias with a sedge hammer app last week. Was using a backpack spayer, thought I was close enough to the target to avoid drift.... WRONG!

    The customer doesn't seem to know what happened. I'm just gonna replace them with another annual.... and not say a word. :cool: I can take at least some comfort in the fact that this very small flower bed needed to be renovated anyways....
  3. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    I have not killed any landscape I didn't mean to but I sure did nuke a C4 yard one time just by mistake.
    And just before the client held a huge wedding party for one of his sons.
    I explained what happened, dyed the dead turf green and when I spoke to the wife later she said no one even noticed the damaged turf.
    So, after the party - fully expecting to get fired - I approach the client, explain I will replace the front yard in it's entirety and asked him two questions.
    Namely, did he want a different species of turfgrass and how about adjusting the stone border - since my insurance was paying for it nows the time to get the changes free.
    Fast forward almost five years, still have the client and occasionally we chuckle over what happened. Client told me he was going to drop me like crap outta a canadian goose if I hadn't of manned up - and was impressed that not only I had yet I expanded upon his front yard free of charge.
    Learned my lesson, primarily being don't mix chemicals with a hangover that would choke a goat.
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I got some tomato plants this year too :eek: At a good friends house no less! He had them in buckets on a fence, doing the upside down deal. I was using the permagreen spraying redzone and stayed about 5 feet from them but evidently the drift or volitization got to them. Didn't totally kill them but they sure didn't do well at all, no tomatos for sure. My grandma has a few tomato plants and I just asked her today if she has extra, I'm going to take my friends some when I can. They want to make salsa!

    I've curled up shrubs before, like euonymus, that's very sensitive to 2-4D products. Also had an incident where I subbed out my spraying one year and the guy sprayed 2 areas that the lady just had planted to wildflowers :dizzy:. I actually tucked my tail on that one and let it slide. The plants were obviously damaged and dead, but we had a very late frost that spring and the assumption was that the frost got them...

    Round-up isn't always my friend either. No matter how carefully I'd try to apply it along edges it would always seem to end up about 4 or 5 inches further out that I wanted it! Killed a strip of turf along the whole length of a customers landscaping one time. Still don't know HOW it crept that far from where I was actually putting the spray though. Misty nozzle on the spray wand I guess.
  5. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,253

    I got a shrub rose this year on a new customer. After the customer called me, 5 weeks later, I went out and looked. The one plant was elevated in a bed along with other plants and was a foot back from the stone border. The only thing I could figure out is the Speedzone volatized and got on the plant. It was about 65 degrees when I did this application so I know it wasn't to hot for the ester in the Speedzone. The plant wasn't completely killed so I gave them 15 bucks off the charge.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Man, You got that right on Roundup! I've learned the hard way how drift can really cause damage! Even in dead still air, Roundup will drift. I now use a heavier nozzle spray setting, but still.... it's REALLY easy to go off target with glyphosate. Now I use a 5 foot "no spray" rule.... and paint anything that is closer to non target plants now. I've had ot kill turf from 5 feet away in no wind conditions.
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    This being August...there's no way to repair the damage by replacing the tomato plants.
    Of course, you'd never find any to plant this late. And even if you did, they'd probably not even grow large enough, in this 90+ degree heat, to amount to anything.

    I would check with some of the farm markets around the area.
    I've seen a number of them in the past few years sell tomato plants in trendy ready-to-tote wooden or plastic buckets of different types.
    They're hot sellers..especially for patios & decks!
    Especially cherry tomatoes...and romas.

    We have had mishaps in the past, particularly with esters volatilizing under the driplines of the tender young growth of broadleaf landscape plantings and trees. In cases like this, I more often than not will simply offer to correct the damage by delicately and professionally pruning it away, after a sincere apology, of course.
  8. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,746

    Measured and poured MSMA+ Surfactant into PG...Phone rings, I answer and talk to customer.10 minutes later, got off phone, begin to spray area for crabgrass. Covered 2k before I realize I didn't add water to PG tank. If you listened real close you could hear the turf sizzling like bacon in a skillet! I set up hose and sprinkler and immediately called customer. He let it run the rest of the afternoon and evening. Turf was fine...smoked the crabgrass and everything worked out...Close call!
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,126

    Label fell off of bottle. Thought I was applying Super Trimec to 10,000 sq ft of seashore paspalum. White one gallon bottle, tan liquid that emulsifies when it hits water. It was actually Ornamec. Couldn't smell the difference because I was wearing a respirator. I instantly knew what happened when I was packing up to leave and took off the respirator. Ran all of the sprinkler system through two cycles. Lawn was ok. If I didn't catch it when I did, the Ornamec would have fried the grass. Fluazafop is absorbed into grass within one hour. Lesson learned, now I clear tape labels to bottles and make sure they stay on no matter what. :hammerhead: This is one reason why I do not agree with the overdoing it with the PPE. I could not smell what I was spraying on the lawn or what was in the bottle. Not saying that I would be standing there huffing the stuff. But a broadleaf application should smell like 2,4-D and Banvel.
  10. Weed Busters

    Weed Busters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Tomatoes are super sensative to 24d and Dicamaba. If you were using a 3 way, it was probably the dicamba that got them. Dicamba will volitilize over 85 degrees. If you have ever sprayed any straight dicamba on your farm such as Banvel, the lable says DO NOT APPLY OVER 85 DEGREES. I have seen tomato fields around here get cooked by someone spraying dicamba on corn a quarter mile away.

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