Monday, January 26, 2015

Garden Myths and Secrets

The use of passed down pearls of wisdom and urban garden myths to improve plants and landscapes is as common as homemade cold and flu recipes. Has someone in your garden circle suggested some fool-proof miracle cure, product or technique to fix what’s ailing your plant or make it grow better? 

We’ve heard methods like using a high middle number fertilizer to grow bigger flowers or bloom more often, or high nitrogen to produce stronger roots or greener foliage. How about mulches, do evergreen needles acidify surrounding soils? Marigolds are supposed to repel certain soil pests in the vegetable garden. What are the actual scientific facts about companion planting? And what’s a gardener to do with all this advice from so-called experts or disguised “snake-oil” claims on websites?

How to Mulch a Garden with Pine Needles
Photo by (Dale Davidson/Demand Media)
Believe it or not some of the age-old remedies actually work and research backs them up. Other areas simply haven’t been studied, so the advice is debatable. The take-home advice is that there is good, solid garden information out there and some that is just plain wrong. If you’re like me, you like hearing about these myths as well as the "why" and "how" they came about. But most importantly, you want to know the facts, where to find them and the best ways to grow a healthy and attractive garden. All these questions and more will be answered in my upcoming class, Garden Myths and Secrets, at Denver Botanic Gardens! So I’ll see you in class and let you know if adding eggshells around tomato plants actually prevents blossom end rot.

Garden Myths and Secrets class on Thursday, February 5 from 6-7:30 pm. Register online or call 720-865-3580 to register.

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