Garden Myths and garden nymphs
Garden myths are many, garden nymphs not so many. I'd surely rather be a garden nymph, than a garden myth, any day. Although garden myths at times can be gospel, garden nymphs are significantly a lot more valuable to your garden. With this in mind, I want to specifically debunk 4 garden myths, I have heard frequently over time.
4 GArden Myths
MYTH 1 - ROCKS ASSIST drainage
Rocks on the bottom of pot, planter or container, with or without drainage holes, DO NOT assist in drainage! If anything they make it worse by blocking up drainage holes so water cannot escape, and by aiding water to collect and make soil soggy in a hole less pot. The only time I would ever use rocks in a container, is in a terrarium where a false bottom must be created to support the environment and plant display, which is watered very differently from a plant in a pot. I've noticed anyone who uses rocks of any size in the bottom of their pots, have terrible looking plants.
MYTH 2 - dividing perennials only in the spring and fall
Sometimes nature calls and it just ain't the right time. Yes, it is ideal to divi up perennials in the spring, to give the roots time to establish before the summer heat sets in, or in the fall before the plant goes into dormancy. In the case that you're required to divide up a perennial out of season, create shade for the plant for a few weeks afterwards, and water on time with care. For shade plants, water carefully and monitor there progress. Plants are adaptable and while under observation, will bounce back from out of season division.
Myth 3 - all veggies and herbs need full sun
There are veggies and herbs that need a good eight to ten hours of full sun per day, where as others thrive in part shade. The heat of the day is too much for them, and not only disrupts their appearance but also their flavor. Herbs of basil, mint, parsley and lemon balm, do much better with four to six hours of sunlight.
Kale, lettuce, arugula and carrots are a few examples of veggies that will grow better with some downtime from all day sun. Tomatoes, do need good sun exposure to grow, but even they will do well with six hours of direct sun per day. If you are growing edibles indoors the rules change and I would put them in an area where they receive 8 - 10 hours of sunlight, as the light is reflected and absorbed differently indoors. Read the article I wrote about growing edibles indoors here.
Myth 4 - pennies turn Hydrangeas blue
Aluminum creates blue hydrangea flowers, the soil must be acidic for the aluminum to be absorbed by the plant. Pennies were briefly made of aluminum in the 1970's, these days they are formed from copper - plated zinc, they do not contain any metals that encourage nutrient absorption. A pH of 5.5 is a good level to maintain for blue hydrangeas. To lower your soils pH, add soil acidifier according to the instructions on the packet. Two organic methods that add acidity to soil and change it's chemistry are, unwashed, unused coffee beans, crushed and encouraged into the soil or, by applying pine needles or pine bark mulch on top of soil. Both of these applications will lower the soils pH.
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