I am just sick. I think I have ruined my vegetable garden. I have used Preen for vegetables and really like it. I asked hubby to pick up some for me. He bought Preen for Southern gardens and I didn’t notice until I put it down on my garden. Have I ruined my vegetable garden? Will this make the fruit poisonous? Will I be able to grow vegetables on this ground later?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Nancy in Florida: The main difference in the Preen vegetable weed control and the Southern garden weed preventer is the active ingredients. Preen for vegetables is an organic product with corn gluten being the active ingredient. Preen for Southern gardens is not organic with the active ingredient being dithiopyr. I contacted the company to be sure I was giving you the right advice and they said you should not plant edibles in the space where you have applied the Southern weed preventer for an entire year. I know this is not what you wanted to hear but it is better to be safe than sorry. Active charcoal granules can be applied to neutralize the active ingredient dithiopyr in an ornamental garden but is still not recommended for use in an edible garden. Hopefully you have another sunny space you can plant veggies in this year and then next spring you can plant again in your current vegetable garden. The good news is that it is still very early in the season and you have time to re-think your garden. Keep in mind that many vegetables do well in containers and you could actually place the containers on top of the soil in your vegetable garden. This way you know they are in a sunny location and if you add a layer of mulch on top of the soil you do not have to worry about absorption of harmful chemicals. This way you can still have your vegetable garden in the same place only they are container-grown plants. You can all your local garden centers and see if they sell or give away their larger nursery pots. This would be an economical way to plant in containers. I know this is disappointing but it is only for one year.