LAKE ELMO, Minn. - The founder of a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has canceled the backyard event after he inadvertently killed 40,000 square feet of his lawn.
Rob Olson says he consulted with three employees of the Dege Garden Center prior to his purchase of several bottles of Ferti-lome brand weed killer.
Olson says he called the store after his yard began to die only to learn that the product also contained a pre-emergent and post-emergent grass killer that not only killed his lawn, but will prevent it from being reseeded or sodded for up to six months.
Olson believes the mistake is less the fault of the garden center than the labels used by Ferti-lome.
In an email, Geneva Aragon, a Ferti-lome spokesperson, pointed out instructions "related directly to the product" are contained in a booklet fixed to the back of the bottle.
On the second page of the eight-page booklet, customers are warned to not use the spray on desirable plants or lawns. There is one additional reference to "Weed & Grass Control" on the front of the bottle.
Olson believes the warning should have been clearer and more prominent. "I think the packaging should say right on it, this will kill your lawn."
Olson says the backyard fundraiser raised $20,000 last year. He says he contacted "probably 15 different places "to try to find one for that day and I just couldn't find anything."
Though the fundraiser is canceled, he's still accepting donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Olson and his wife have two sons with cystic fibrois.
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