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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Four Common Gardening Myths Exposed



In many ways, gardening is like cooking. We tend to learn at the knees of our parents and from watching them work their magic throughout our formative years. When we’re young, pretty much everything we see our parents doing is fun and adventurous and we want to replicate and emulate them in the hope that it will make us more grown-up, too. And the great news is… Our childhood selves are right. By learning skills like cooking and gardening (and even driving) from our parents at a young age, we can gain vitally important skills that can benefit us later on in adult life like learning to grow delicious and healthy organic veggies.







However, in all three of these cases, we can also wind up picking up our parents’ bad habits, and believing wholesale in myths and misconceptions that they learned from their own parents. Perhaps it’s for this reason that many people believe the following gardening myths which we’re now going to bust wide open…



Putting gravel at the bottom of a plant pot helps drainage



This certainly seems like common sense. After all, we all know that an excess of water is statistically more likely to kill a plant than drought. Nonetheless, all this measure does is waste good gravel. And if you have great quality premium gravel like Kelkay Pebbles you want to have it on show, not buried under a pot of soil. Plant roots need air and water as well as the nutrients in soil. Adding gravel reduces nutrient availability and potentially keeps the root from getting access to the air and water that it needs, too.



Instead, try mixing in a little sand with the soil to facilitate better drainage.



Watering plants on a hot day burns the leaves



How many of you were reprimanded by your parents for this. Again, it seems to make perfect sense, but plants don;t get sunburn and a droplet of water is not a magnifying glass just waiting to saute the plant’s leaves.



That said, water is more likely to evaporate off the surface in hot weather which is why it’s better to hang fire until the sun has gone down before watering your plants.



Pruned branches need to be sealed to keep disease at bay



Nope! Many of us grew up believing that when branches are pruned, the exposed “flesh” of the plant needs to be treated with paint or nail varnish to keep diseases away. This is a waste of paint or nail varnish. Plants, like us, have their own methods of sealing up wounds and preventing infections from seeping in to the exposed flesh.



Adding sand to heavy clay soil makes it easier to dig



Please don’t. If anything, you’ll make your soil harder to dig and form a consistency almost like concrete. Save yourself a lot of backache and calluses by turning a little compost, sphagnum moss, manure, or even old grass cuttings into your heavy clay soil. These organic additives will be far more effective in loosening the soil.



Forget these garden myths and you’ll have a beautiful garden without wasting your time, effort… or nail varnish!
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