Five for Friday: Garden myths busted and a giveaway

02:44, Jul 13 2012

There are a lot of old wives' tales in gardening and it's hard sometimes to sort the good stuff from the not so good.

Some tips and tricks just get handed down over the years and are unquestioned for generations.

Who knows if they really work.

So it's with some excitement I introduce you to Decoding Gardening Advice.

A pretty average title for what is an above average gardening book.

Yes, Actual Science appears to have been employed in the writing of this book.


It takes 100 commonly passed-on pieces of garden wisdom and rates them thus: Good Advice, Advice That's Debatable and Advice That's Just Plain Wrong. I love it.

Here are five garden beliefs that I've held dear to, that the book questions or just calls completely wrong.

This information that has completely blown my soil-improving plant-pampering mind:

1. Pine needles make soil more acidic

2. Gravel and rocks at the bottom of pots improve drainage

3. Wood mulch, which is high in carbon, will rob nitrogen from the soil

4. Adding sand to clay soil will improve drainage

5. Glyphosate shouldn't be used (ie Roundup) because it lingers in the soil

I know, I know, you've spat out your cup of coffee, or are sitting in disbelief.

All of these things I've heard from others and believed, because they sounded sensible, and I never really had any reason to doubt them. Until now.

You too can have your gardening world turned upside down - or feel vindicated in your methods - and go in the draw for a copy of Decoding Gardening Advice, by Jeff Gillman and Meleah Maynard.

Just tell me some garden wisdom that you hold most dear, or suspect of being a whopping great load of manure, or just one that you suspect should be put in the compost bin.

I'll let you know the winner in Wednesday's post.

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