Whether you are new to gardening or old-hat, there are plenty of myths out there that need to be squelched. Here are 5 myths about gardening I’ve found from reputable sources online. Feel free to comment on them or pass them on to other friends and family members who might believe these myths.
5. Watering the Lawn at Night is Better than Watering It in the Morning
A popular belief about watering the lawn is that it’s best to water it at night so the grass has a longer time to absorb the moisture. In fact, allowing your lawn to remain in this moist, dark environment all night long enables fungal pathogens to thrive. It’s best to water the lawn early in the morning so it has all day to dry out.
4. Plant Tags Are Always Accurate when It States the Final Size of a Tree or Shrub
Even dwarf varieties of trees have the potential to surpass what is supposed to be their top height at maturity. Keep this in mind when planting trees or shrubs close to your house. If you are expecting a tree to only grow to a height of 5 feet and it ends up being closer to 10, you might have trouble with the root system damaging the foundation of your home. Assume the final height of a tree or shrub is going to be at least 2 to 3 feet more than what the tag suggests.
3. Bleach is Great for Sterilizing Gardening Tools
Bleach is sold in plastic containers for a reason. It is an oxidizing agent, which means it is very corrosive on metal items. If you are looking for a way to disinfect your pruning tools without causing them to rust, use rubbing alcohol, Listerine, or Pine-Sol. Not only will these help disinfect your gardening tools, but they also won’t harm you or your plants if traces are left on the tools when it comes time to use them.
2. Piling Mulch against Tree Trunks is Best for the Tree
Mulch should be placed at least a couple of inches away from the tree trunk. Bark is there to protect the tree, but it doesn’t do very well when it is constantly moist. When mulch is layered thickly right against the tree bark, moisture is trapped. Create a donut shape around the tree to allow mulch to be beneficial without harming the tree itself.
1. More Fertilizer is Better
Plants can only absorb so much fertilizer at a time. Any excess amount will be washed away and either end up providing nutrition to nearby weeds or leaching into the water table. Gardens located near ponds and streams are often the cause of an abundance of algae, due to the fertilizer used. When it rains, excess fertilizer ends up in ponds and the perfect environment is created for algae to bloom in full force. These algae blooms suffocate the fish and other life within the pond. Use only the directed amount of fertilizer on plants and follow instructions closely when mixing water-soluble fertilizers.
Were there any myths in this list that you thought were truths? If you know of any other myths you think should be addressed, please add them in the comment section.
Top Photo Credit: Dan.King