One tenant was alarmed to find wilting plants in their garden after a visit from their landlord’s gardener.
The question came with three photos showing severely distressed plants. All had brown, withered patches next to normal green growth, and they looked like they were in the process of dying. The effect was similar even though there was a variety of plants in the photos, which is a hint that it was not a natural occurrence.
If this gardener did get careless with the weed killer, they aren’t the first. Renters have often had their gardens destroyed by landlords, even when growing something affordable and eco-friendly such as wildflowers or native plants.
In fact, many landlords have stepped in to prevent money-saving and environmentally conscious practices, from line-drying laundry to saving water in a drought. Often, they’re worried about the appearances of their properties.
This tenant’s garden seems to have paid the price for the landlord’s concern.
“This is exactly what it looks like about seven days after spraying Roundup,” one commenter said.
While it was too late to save those plants, commenters did offer advice to save the garden going forward.
“After they die then till up the soil and replant,” suggested one user, who also recommended reporting the herbicide use to the state chemist.
“They needed to contact you when they were on the property,” that same user added.
“If it was only Roundup used then you could plant there and the plants would grow and produce normally,” another user said. “It’s up to you if you want to consume what is grown there.”
According to the original poster, they were a bit more cautious than that.
“I decided to dig some of the soil out, cover it with cardboard, and will fill the area with new soil,” they said in a comment. “My last garden had potential Roundup contamination from the neighbor’s lawn care people so I’m not feeling like risking it again.”
Of course, the landlord might just have those plants sprayed too.
One way forward would be for the tenant to ask the landlord to change their yard care arrangements, as many homeowners and tenants have had success after approaching their HOAs or landlords about potential rule changes.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.