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Gardening myths can rob you of your success in the garden. Here are 5 myths you can kick to the curb today, so you can see flourishing gardens later.

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Forget the stories you’ve ever been told about what it takes to have a true green thumb. Well, maybe not all of them. But a lot of the stories you’ve been told are actually a shovel-full of gardening tips that are actually just myths. Here is the truth behind five common gardening myths.

1. Water in Direct Sunlight Burns Plants

You’ve probably heard from other gardeners that you shouldn’t water in direct sunlight because the droplets can burn your plants. The reasoning behind this garden watering myth is the water droplets can act as a magnifying glass that singes the leaves of your plants.

The truth is, water droplets cannot magnify the sun’s rays long enough to burn your plants. Why? Well, if the sun is that direct, the water would evaporate before doing any real damage. This doesn’t mean you should water at high noon, but early to late morning is a great time – it will give your plants plenty of opportunity to soak up all that water before it evaporates.

2. Banana Peels Boost Rose Development

Potassium is one of the essential nutrients roses need to grow strong roots and have vibrant colors. Although banana peels contain potassium, simply burying them near your rose bushes won’t give them a potassium boost.

It takes time and nitrogen-rich soil to break down a banana peel. When this process takes place in your garden, it leaches nutrients from other plants. Instead of burying the banana peels, break them down through composting, then add the compost as topsoil to your rose beds.

3. Organic Pesticides Are Always Safe

If you’re taking an organic approach to your vegetable garden, then you’re probably aware of 100% organic pesticides. Organic is a good thing, but a number of organic ingredients, such as pyrethrin, can harm your garden over time.

Anything that harms friendly garden inhabitants like bees and ladybugs can eventually damage your garden, as well. If you’re trying to stop leaf-eaters such as worms, try garden-safe organic alternatives like Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). To prevent fungus and leaf mildew, all-natural insecticidal soaps are also a good choice.

4. Fertilizer Directly in Planting Holes is Necessary for Growth

It seems like common sense to add fertilizer to the bottom of a hole before dropping a new plant in. However, fertilizer can inhibit root growth and create a weak root system.

A new plant’s roots are searching for the best soil around. If that happens to be the fertilizer directly below, the roots won’t spread out any further than the hole. Instead of putting fertilizer in the hole, spread it around the topsoil after planting to promote root expansion.

5. Adding Sand Will Reduce Soil Density

If you’re dealing with dense soil, one of the worst solutions is adding sand. Sand can actually increase the hardness of dense, clay-like soils. Instead, add lightweight matter like organic compost, peat moss, or dried leaves. Compost, mosses, and other organic materials will make your soil fluffy and more nutrient-rich.

Ignore the myths, seek expert advice

When you’re ready to hone your green thumb, ignore the myths above and take a practical approach to gardening.

And as always, when in doubt always talk to the experts down at your local, professionally-run nursery. Ask them about climatic conditions and soil conditions for the kind of plants you’re looking to grow. Ask them about local plants and how to take care of them. Take their advice. And share your findings here with other readers on this post!

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.