Doofus Of The Day #840

A tip o’ the hat to Australian reader Snoggeramus for forwarding the link to today’s winner – a (presumably) successful businessman and (clearly less successful) gardener in New Zealand.

Businessman Paul Currie was in a hurry.

He was at his holiday home in Rata St, Wanaka, about to head home to Christchurch.

The new lawn was looking great, he thought.

Just those broadleafs.

Perhaps he should give them a quick spray before he left.

That was a month ago.

Then the phone calls started – from neighbours who wondered if the brown marks appearing in his green lawn might have been caused by vandals.

That got Paul thinking.

He had bought four new sprays for various purposes and had reached into the cupboard for the one recommended for broadleaf weeds.

But then, he remembered, he had not actually been wearing his glasses at the time.

The penny dropped.

Instead of using a herbicide for broadleaf only, he had accidentally used a broad-spectrum herbicide containing glyphosate – good for any grass that needs to be turned from green and healthy to brown and dead.

There’s more at the link, including a photograph of a once-beautiful lawn that looks as if it had been tagged by a prolific but particularly inept graffiti artist.  I’m sure it’ll take Mr. Currie a long time to live down that mistake!



  1. Back in the late 80's, the grounds keepers at our local community college did something similar, but longer lasting. They wanted to kill the weeds in some of the parking lot landscape islands. Instead of using weed killer, they mistakenly used soil sterilizer. They stopped when they realized it, but a quarter of the islands had been sprayed by then. Needless to say, not only were the weeds killed, but so was ALL the landscaping in the islands, trees included. Nothing was able to grow in the islands after that, they redid all the parking lots, removed all the sterilized islands.

  2. About 10 years ago the traveling Vietnam Memorial came to town. They were going to set up in the practice field for the middle school football team. To get ready they were going to spray for bugs. Only problem was they grabbed an herbicide instead of insecticide. The beautiful green grass was brown for the whole time memorial was here. I have some lovely shots, but the best looking ones are in B&W where you can't tell the grass is brown.

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