Garden Myth busting on April Fools Day

Fri. Apr. 1, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Garden myth busting on April Fools day

Garden myths abound!  One of the biggest myths is that trees need wound dressing when you make a cut on them.  Years ago that was something we just automatically did but now, we understand that trees have been healing themselves, well, forever.  In fact, the waxes, tars and emulsions can actually hurt the trees.

Another busted myth is that we should till our gardens every year.  Not so, in fact, the more we till, the more we compact our soil.  It literally pulverizes the particles and collapses the pockets that air and water move through.  Instead, as you add organic matter, use your garden fork to turn it in.  It’s like folding ingredients in a recipe.

garden fork to till

I was just speaking at a sport and leisure show and someone asked about Borax and your lawn.  When trying to get rid of Creeping Charlie, lots of folks ask about using Borax.  Does it work?  Yes, BUT…. it can also kill other plants in the area for years to come.  If you’re going to use, follow the recipe exactly or use less.   More is NOT better.  This is not a one-time treatment either!

Recipe for Borax control of ground ivy on bluegrass

(Caution: apply over recommended area to avoid toxicity symptoms)

To treat 1,000 sq. feet:

  • 10 oz. Twenty Mule Team Borax
  • dissolve in 4 oz. warm water
  • then dilute in 2.5 gal. water

Do plants like to listen to music?  Well… listen to my podcast to find out.

Jeff Gillman  is a former Associate Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota Extension and has written several books.  He’s now in Charlotte, North Carolina.   One of his books is “The Truth about Garden Remedies”.   While this book doesn’t debunk all myths, it’s worth the read.

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