Green thumbs — take note of common gardening myths
There are quite a few myths that have been around for ages about the dos and don’ts of gardening.
It’s hard to say where they come from but very few are scientifically-based.
Here are three common myths that are fiction.
Myth 1: Native plants don’t need watering, soil improvement, fertilising or pruning.
Yes they do. Plants you buy from a nursery have been grown in a potting medium that has slow-release fertiliser and is watered at least once a day, twice a day in summer. If you take that plant and just dig a hole and put it straight in with no watering or fertiliser to encourage good root development, it will struggle and perhaps die in the first year.
All native plants benefit from pruning, it’s best to start when they are young.
Pruning keeps the bush healthy and compact, encourages better flowering and new growth and discourages fungal disease.
Myth 2: Manure makes good mulch.
Wrong — manure is just a soil additive.
Depending on what the animals have eaten it will feed worms and soil microbes. It may also contain 100 weed seeds and traces of herbicide and pesticides.
Myth 3: Never water plants in the heat of the day because they will die.
Where this came from, I’m not sure. However, all market gardeners would be out of business if this were true. The best time to water your garden is early morning, but if you have a plant that is so stressed it has reached critical wilting, if you don’t water it during the day it may be dead by nightfall.
Manure is just a soil additive and should not be used as a mulch.