As a Gardener, where did you learn about plants? Well, you probably got the skills form your parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle, who wasn’t afraid to did in the dirt. Maybe, you were motivated by the bountiful vegie patches and perennial borders to learn this art. Certainly, you are doing many things right, and this is why over the years, you have been able to create some of the best gardens in your neighbourhood.
Nonetheless, there are some things you believe you are doing right, while in the real sense, they are just myths that aren’t worth your time. Some of the popular beliefs include;
#1 Burying banana peels give lots of potassium to roses
You have probably heard this, and this is why every week, you rush to the grocery store and buy bananas in bulk. You then proceed to warn everyone in your household not to throw the peels in the trash can, since you need to use them for something.
You dig some holes near your roses and burry the peels there, hoping that they will give these beautiful flowers a potassium boost.
Well, it’s true that banana peels contain high levels of potassium. However, if you burry them, they extract a lot of nitrogen as the soil’s microorganisms work hard to break them down.
Look – nitrogen is essential for greening plants. Therefore, the peels take away the nitrogen, and your roses’ health deteriorate.
To get the potassium out of banana peels, place them in a compost pile. Then, top-dress your roses with compost.
#2 Drought tolerant plants don’t need water to survive
The word ‘drought-tolerant’ in itself is enough to discourage you from watering such plants. However, what you need to know is that these plants need less water than the others, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need water at all.
When drought-resistant plants are young, they might require a lot more water as they established their roots. When they grow, regularly pull out your garden horse and water them. Keep the soil around them slightly moist, but don’t make it soggy because you might end up destroying the plants entirely.
#3 Adding sand to clay soil improves drainage
Clay soil particles are extremely fine; thus waterlogging is common in this type of soil. On the other hand, sand particles are coarse, and aren’t tightly spaced. Therefore, you might be tempted to believe that adding sand to clay can speed up drainage.
When you add sand to clay, the tiny clay particles will fill in the spaces between sand grains, thereby creating a concrete-like surface. This will further compromise drainage.
The best way to improve clay is by adding compost. If the area is already planted, top-dress using compost. If you are creating a new garden in an area with clay soil, add about 2-inch layer of compost before planting.
#4 Newly planted trees need staking
Finally, this is another myth which most gardeners believe. However, unless you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall and strong winds, newly planted trees don’t need staking. As the trees grow, their trunks grow thicker and stronger. However, if you stake them, the trunks will become weak, and the trees might eventually fall.
If you have to stake, ensure you do as loosely as you can. Use soft materials such as a garden hose which will not keep cutting the tree as it grows.