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Major boo boo!

  I was working on a garden at the weekend and the client had bought some, says on the box ('Greenfly Killer. sprayday from Bayer Garden')  I protested as much as i could about chemicals use but she bought it cheap and it was only £2 from a local bargain shop and i have seen it at £7 quid at Wilko and i think they are cheap. 

Any how, in the end i was forced to use it in a back yard with a few pots of herbs, Well quite a few old herbs to be precise (about 20-30 old pots) it said on the label to mix 0.5ml per liter. I f****d up (sorry) and mixed up 5ml per liter. I only used 1 liter of x 10 strength (2 liter spray bottle) but now i am worried and do not know how to rectify this or what the affects will be. I know its too late, but this is keeping me up at night.  I have never made such a simple mistake before. It's a pesticide so its not like i over feed the plants but as i do not normally use chemicals i do not know what the result will be. This one has got me in turmoil! Does anyone know the results of my mistake? help needed please. Just for the sake of what is left of my sanity.

Kind Regards.  


Don't think you erred,5ml is a double scotch, 0.5 ml is a tiny amount, a thimble full. Could be wrong, let us know.

How much was in the bottle ? Pour the rest away and tell client you have used it all. 

Steve 309

A double Scotch is 50ml; if your local is giving 1/10 measures I should report them to the Trading Standards people!

5ml is a standard teaspoonful (and probably not much more than a thimbleful).  I'd be surprised if that much, diluted to a litre (i.e. 1:200) is going to cause much damage to the plants.  It'll kill the ladybirds though .  You could wash it off by spraying it with water but it's probably too late for that now.

0.5ml is a few drops; much less than a thimbleful.

Anyway, you can blame her and tell her you told her so!


Was it a systemic pesticide, most of them have a period after use before you should eat what was sprayed. Might stay longer in the plants system before it' s safe to use, this is only a guess 



I absolutely wouldn't use any pesticide on edible plants - not ever, for any reason !!!

Presumably the client employs you because you know something about the job you're doing?  She should take the advice she's paying for. 

My feeling is that it won't really do much if any damage.......possibly leaves will look a little sad for a while....possibly 

Edd, why use it on herbs though?  I have never used any chemical on herbs because they usually are very tough and healthy plants.  Which herbs were they?  Many can be cut back now anyway. 

Agree with Dove......never spray edible crops.  

I use chemicals sparingly.........for vine weevils, for caterpillar infestations occasionally.....but generally garden organically.  No artificial fertilisers, very few slug pellets in early spring and fleece is used for carrot fly and pea moth.  

There is a place for chemicals...we use them in our homes. (you may be surprised at the extent of that).  We control the odd ant invasion, housefly or whitefly atack with chemicals 


The fact she bought it so cheaply makes me think it was out of date or ineffective in some way .  You could be lucky.  If it had happened to any of my potgrown plants I would take them out of the pots and dunk each thoroughly in a bath of rainwater.  Then repot in fresh compost.  Many benefit from cutting back now anyway but make sure she does not use the herbs in her cooking.  Tell her they need cutting back to sprout lots of lovely new shoots for her to use the rest of the year.  We have dreadful pollution in Bristol today and I will not be using anything from the garden but the saladings in the conservatory are fine so a cheese salad for lunch and chicken salad for supper.


0'5 ml is a few drops.  10 x dose probably won't hurt the plant, but as it's systemic it will persist for at least  four weeks. Give it a drench of clear water(probably too late), cut it down for fresh growth. Advise not to eat. If it flowers in the next six weeks, cut the flowers off as they will be fatal to bees.


What do they supply to measure 0.5ml? A mini syringe?


Thanks all.

The herbs are only used for their scent and flowers so will not be eaten. They will all be cut back this weekend and burnt so i will see any effects then. The insecticide is quite viscous and comes with a little 15ml measuring jug. (See pic)

The whole yard is infested with Greenfly,blackfly,Whitefly, Leaf hoppers and thrips. So i can understand the clients concerns, just not her methods of controlling them. 


Thanks again.


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