My neighbor is spraying my garden-Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 06-09-2012, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need advice on how to approach this:

 

My next door neighbor has been fertilizing my garden with some kind of hose-spray attachment (Miracle-Gro?). I have no idea if he has sprayed any kind of pesticide or herbicide though I certainly hope not! We are trying to grow an organic garden and have invested quite a bit of time and effort to make this happen. 

His daughter casually mentioned that he had done it a couple days ago and I just saw him out my window doing it again. (He just sprays right over the short fence dividing our properties.) 

I know he means well but I need to say something. I don't want to offend him our come across as rude, etc. and find myself at a loss as to what to say.

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#2 of 15 Old 06-09-2012, 11:51 PM
 
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Can you tell him your children are allergic to commercial fertilizers?


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#3 of 15 Old 06-09-2012, 11:55 PM
 
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i'd do my best to just knock on his door, say thank you for the thought and kind actions, but 'we're doing our best to grow an organic garden and commercial fertilizers don't go well with that goal.  We'd really appreciate it if you would please stop spraying our garden.  If you come across any good organic fertalizers, techniques etc... please let us know.  We'd love to hear them.'

 

I say that now, but i'm pretty introverted and just knocking on the door would get me nervous.

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#4 of 15 Old 06-10-2012, 05:59 AM
 
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This would be something I wouldn't even consider whether or not I offended someone.  Miracle Grow isn't the worst thing in the world honestly but the very fact that he's putting something on your garden and your property is rude.  What he's doing is offensive.  He's overstepping and you need to say something.  Tell him to be careful not to spray over the fence.  You are trying to do something and he's hindering your ability to do it.

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#5 of 15 Old 06-11-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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OP-You need to be conscious of the fact that you have to live next door to this guy for as long as you both live there.

I second a pp's suggestion of telling them your children have some allergies to some kinds of fertilizers and if he asks questions I'd just say something like "we're not really sure, it's so hard to tell but that's why we're very diligent in keeping them away from such things." I'd thank him for being thoughtful but would kindly ask him to try to so his best to not spray your yard.

Keep in mind that he likely wants to keep what he sees of your yard looking as nice as possible so I'd pay some extra attention to that part of your yard. You might also ask if he's seen some weeds there and maybe he could indicate what his concerns may have been. 

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#6 of 15 Old 06-21-2012, 03:21 PM
 
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I would just ask him to stop.  Tell him you are already feeding your plants on your own schedule and worry the extra fertilizer will harm the plants.  thank him for his generosity but repeat that you need him to be very careful not to hit your plants with fertilizer.  

 

Look at the bright side.  My neighbor sprayed my plants with weed killer.  Took out half my garden.  Instantly.  He found me in my garden sobbing.  it was an awkward conversation.


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#7 of 15 Old 06-21-2012, 10:19 PM
 
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Please don't lie about your children having allergies. It's comments like that that make people skeptical of people who really do have allergies.

If you're going to lie about the reason, why not just say that you've already fertilized, and over fertilizing will kill your plants. Or you could just tell the truth and say that you're really concerned about the ingredients in fertilizers and you'd rather not use them (or whatever your reason is.)

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#8 of 15 Old 06-23-2012, 03:43 PM
 
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I find that generally speaking, the truth is always the best thing to tell people. In this case, it is very simple:

 

knock-knock on door. Door opens: "Hey, I just wanted to say thank you for fertilizing my plants. I saw you the other day, and it is really sweet of you, thinking of my poor plants! I really appreciate you looking out for them, and the good intention, but, and well, this is a bit awkward...but I'm trying to grow an organic garden. Of course, you couldn't know that, since I've totally forgot to tell you! So, even if I much appreciate the thought - I really do - I would be happy if you stop fertilizing my plants."

 

It really is as easy as that. Being all apologizing, and telling your neighbour it is totally your fault and no harm done. Who knows, it might even open up a conversation about other important issues such as how to handle infected plants in your garden etc. that might worry your neighbour with you keeping an organic garden.

 

In any case: as said, truth is always the best option. If nothing else, so because of the fact that a liar needs a damn good memory to keep track of all the different little lies.

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#9 of 15 Old 06-23-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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If the guy is oblivious of boundaries enough to think his actions are appropriate, then I'm betting that saying "thank you for the thought" or being apologetic about your request is just going to encourage him, and he'll think you're only asking him to stop to be polite, but don't really mean it.   I agree with PP about sticking to the truth, but I'm betting that being firm and unambiguous about what you want is more likely to get the desired result.
 

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#10 of 15 Old 06-23-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

If the guy is oblivious of boundaries enough to think his actions are appropriate, then I'm betting that saying "thank you for the thought" or being apologetic about your request is just going to encourage him, and he'll think you're only asking him to stop to be polite, but don't really mean it.   I agree with PP about sticking to the truth, but I'm betting that being firm and unambiguous about what you want is more likely to get the desired result.
 

 

Yep! Don't sugarcoat it. I had a colleague at my old job who would sugar coat things, and it never worked out well for her. I was firm but respectful, kind and honest, made the people I work with think of me as a more real person that they couldn't walk all over. I always had a great report with my team and never had difficult people on my team, whereas my colleague had a fair share of difficult people on her team.

Be straightforward and keep it simple.


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#11 of 15 Old 06-23-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lovesong View Post

I find that generally speaking, the truth is always the best thing to tell people. In this case, it is very simple:

 

knock-knock on door. Door opens: "Hey, I just wanted to say thank you for fertilizing my plants. I saw you the other day, and it is really sweet of you, thinking of my poor plants! I really appreciate you looking out for them, and the good intention, but, and well, this is a bit awkward...but I'm trying to grow an organic garden. Of course, you couldn't know that, since I've totally forgot to tell you! So, even if I much appreciate the thought - I really do - I would be happy if you stop fertilizing my plants."

 

It really is as easy as that. Being all apologizing, and telling your neighbour it is totally your fault and no harm done. Who knows, it might even open up a conversation about other important issues such as how to handle infected plants in your garden etc. that might worry your neighbour with you keeping an organic garden.

 

In any case: as said, truth is always the best option. If nothing else, so because of the fact that a liar needs a damn good memory to keep track of all the different little lies.

This.


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#12 of 15 Old 06-23-2012, 09:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by changingseasons View Post

Please don't lie about your children having allergies. It's comments like that that make people skeptical of people who really do have allergies.
If you're going to lie about the reason, why not just say that you've already fertilized, and over fertilizing will kill your plants. Or you could just tell the truth and say that you're really concerned about the ingredients in fertilizers and you'd rather not use them (or whatever your reason is.)

 

i think this a super good point. i have been guilty in the past of claiming to have an allergy or chemical sensitivity to get someone to leave me alone with something stinky or whatever and reading this was a good smack in the head. thank you. i also am one that doubts a lot of "allergies" i hear about all the time (kinda ironic huh?) so i guess i could do some work on being better at both sides of it!


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#13 of 15 Old 07-01-2012, 06:56 AM
 
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I thought I would chime in, since I've had actual experience here.  A neighbor who was an older guy, liked things to look a certain way on our block, and was generally intrusive, though I know he thought he was being super helpful.  Some things I didn't mind, like he'd pull in everyone's trash can after the trash truck came.  Other things I did mind, like a day after I moved in the house, he came over, introduced himself and asked for my house key if I decided to change the locks (he had everyone's on the block "just in case").  I knew he wouldn't break in teh house or anything, but goodness, what if someone broke in his house and found all the keys or something?  Plus, it's just weird.  I, of course changed the locks and just didn't tell him.  We had other instances of him shutting my dog inside when I had intentionally left a certain door open in the back so the dog could come in and out of the mudroom when I was gone overnight.

 

Aaaaanyhow... he was a sprayer.  For such a old-timey gardener, I was actually surprised at the level of disrespect he had for the land - over-tilling to the point of practically needing all the fertilizers and pesticides.  So, were are both gardeners and I would just see him outside all the time.  It was much less confrontational than having to knock on his door.  We chatted over the fence once a week or so, just small talk about the garden.  I think that conversation went something like,

'Hey Norman! Your flowers are looking great! blah blah'... conversation turns to my yard and how I was pulling the poison ivy from the woods right next to it (he had been spraying round up in my situation).  "I noticed you sprayed my garden and yard over the fence for the poison ivy"  He says yup, he didn't want it spreading to his yard.  I said, "Thanks for thinking of us, but I'd prefer to just pull it by hand.  I'm doing an organic garden and yard, so I'm not using any chemical fertilizers or herbicides".  He just shrugged and was like, "Okay, I won't spray over there, but I think you'll have a hard time keeping up with that without any fertilizers and such!"  I laughed and said, "Yup, looks like I've got my work cut out for me".

 

He never sprayed after that into my yard, but I know he wanted to.  I remember being out there doing some slug control in a particularly sluggy year, and he was just standing at the fence chuckling at me and saying "You know they make products for that, right?  Probably not organic but it'd do the job" Me: "I'm a sucker for a challenge" 

 

I have since moved from that house, but I know the new owners also organically garden, so hopefully I've helped make the path easier!


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#14 of 15 Old 07-03-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Agree with the above, be friendly & neighborly while sticking to your guns. If you tell him your garden is organic, there's not a whole lot he can say to argue the point. Lying about allergies is unethical for reasons already mentioned.

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#15 of 15 Old 07-03-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by root*children View Post

I thought I would chime in, since I've had actual experience here.  A neighbor who was an older guy, liked things to look a certain way on our block, and was generally intrusive, though I know he thought he was being super helpful.  Some things I didn't mind, like he'd pull in everyone's trash can after the trash truck came.  Other things I did mind, like a day after I moved in the house, he came over, introduced himself and asked for my house key if I decided to change the locks (he had everyone's on the block "just in case").  I knew he wouldn't break in teh house or anything, but goodness, what if someone broke in his house and found all the keys or something?  Plus, it's just weird.  I, of course changed the locks and just didn't tell him.  We had other instances of him shutting my dog inside when I had intentionally left a certain door open in the back so the dog could come in and out of the mudroom when I was gone overnight.

 

Aaaaanyhow... he was a sprayer.  For such a old-timey gardener, I was actually surprised at the level of disrespect he had for the land - over-tilling to the point of practically needing all the fertilizers and pesticides.  So, were are both gardeners and I would just see him outside all the time.  It was much less confrontational than having to knock on his door.  We chatted over the fence once a week or so, just small talk about the garden.  I think that conversation went something like,

'Hey Norman! Your flowers are looking great! blah blah'... conversation turns to my yard and how I was pulling the poison ivy from the woods right next to it (he had been spraying round up in my situation).  "I noticed you sprayed my garden and yard over the fence for the poison ivy"  He says yup, he didn't want it spreading to his yard.  I said, "Thanks for thinking of us, but I'd prefer to just pull it by hand.  I'm doing an organic garden and yard, so I'm not using any chemical fertilizers or herbicides".  He just shrugged and was like, "Okay, I won't spray over there, but I think you'll have a hard time keeping up with that without any fertilizers and such!"  I laughed and said, "Yup, looks like I've got my work cut out for me".

 

He never sprayed after that into my yard, but I know he wanted to.  I remember being out there doing some slug control in a particularly sluggy year, and he was just standing at the fence chuckling at me and saying "You know they make products for that, right?  Probably not organic but it'd do the job" Me: "I'm a sucker for a challenge" 

 

I have since moved from that house, but I know the new owners also organically garden, so hopefully I've helped make the path easier!

 

Wow, what a neighbor. All of that would drive me nuts... but your response was spot on, and I bet the same approach would work for the OP.


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