There’s all sorts of myths related to our gardens. Here’s a couple of those garden myths you may still be operating under and a couple of ideas that have a ring of truth!
Just say no!
Drought-tolerant plants don’t need watering.
The point of drought-tolerant plants is to avoid having to add supplemental watering into the mix but you can’t completely forgo the need to water in all cases. Many plants will require some watering during their first year. Also keep in mind that these plants are drought-tolerant for your average summer. If you’re experiencing significantly greater temperatures or dramatically less rain than you typically receive in a summer then you, and your plants, would benefit from the occasional soaking.
You need to purchase fresh new seeds each season.
This one couldn’t be further from the truth. In actuality, seeds can last for several years if they’re properly stored. Keep them away from light and extreme temperatures and you can keep those seeds around for several years. You can place your seeds in a bag and vacuum seal them or simply place them in a jar and store them in a cool, dry place.
In reality you can spur on decay rather than prevent it. When you dress these “wounds” with tar or paint you aren’t necessarily preventing fungal decay. In many cases moisture is actually trapped near the wound which cause organisms to grow and speed decay. Simply prune your tree and leave it alone. You may have noticed that trees frequently recover after losing limbs. Leave them to their natural defenses and they should do just fine.
Organic pesticides are always safe.
As with most things in life nothing is entirely good or bad. Overall, organic pesticides can be a lot better for you and your garden but sometimes they can actually be harmful. Some organic pesticides, such as pyrethrins which is a compound derived from chrysanthemums, can kill beneficial insects. Bees can be particularly sensitive to this insecticide and with declining pollinators a growing problem extra care should be demonstrated when utilizing this particular pesticide. Overall, a pesticide is pesticide and it’s best to try out other methods to deter pests in your garden. Look into companion planting, biological treatments (such as Bacillus Thuringiensis on caterpillars) and some of the methods below.
Good to go!
Add eggshells to planting holes.
This is legit. Crushed up eggshells provide calcium which is incredibly important for fast growing plants. In particular, eggshells can help prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes. Make sure that you crush the eggshells because if not they will take a really long time to breakdown. Double the awesomeness with some coffee grounds which will provide nitrogen to your garden.
Eggshells will keep the slugs away.
If you haven’t dealt with slugs or snails in your garden then you’re lucky. If you have try sprinkling crushed eggshells around your vegetable plants. The shells are sharp and slugs don’t enjoy traversing them as the sharp eggshells scrape at their soft underbelly. Same with caterpillars that would love nothing more than to chew away at the tender stalks of your tomatoes, peppers and other garden delicacies.
Use beer traps for slugs.
Who knew?! You can use beer traps to attract slugs and liberate your garden from their tyranny. Here’s an Instructables guide to help you build some easy traps. There’s some debate about whether or not light beer or dark beer works better. Feel free to test this yourself to see what works best for you. Get some of both and bait some traps with light, some with dark and finish the rest off yourself. What a conundrum to have!