Gardening Tips You Need To Let Go In One Ear and Out the Other

May 11 2012

Guest post contributed by Sally, on behalf of NewPro Containers, suppliers of indoor and outdoor planters for landscaping professionals.

Gardening tips can range from solid advice from qualified experts to urban legends that can actually damage your garden. Whether they recommend harmful additives or poor mulch techniques, these "tips" should definitely be ignored.??

Bad Tip #1: Use Bleach in Your Garden
Although you may have heard otherwise, you should not use bleach as a disinfectant on your gardening tools or watering cans. Some people even suggest using it directly on plants after pruning. However, even a small amount of bleach could potentially kill a plant. Instead of bleach, use a plant-safe alternative; you can find one at most home and garden supply stores. No one seems to know where the idea that bleach has a place in gardening originated, but since it could wipe out an entire garden, it should be avoided at all costs.?

Bad Tip #2: More Fertilizer is Always Better
Another common gardening tip from new gardeners is to use more fertilizer for better results. However, as with many things in life, more is not always better. Too much fertilizer can actually damage plants, and at best it will simply wash away with the rain or while watering. Overusing fertilizer is a waste of time and money. The same goes for extra applications of pesticides or weed killers. If the suggested amount does not work, look into natural alternatives. Too many pesticides can damage the plants you are trying to help, and can have harmful side effects for you, your pets and local wildlife.

Bad Tip #3: Corn Gluten Meal Can Solve All Your Problems with Weeds??
Corn gluten meal is often touted as a natural way to control weeds in your garden. While it may have some limited use, research does not support the claims made by its most enthusiastic advocates. Part of this is simply due to a misunderstanding about its application. Corn gluten meal cannot kill weeds that have already grown. Instead, it may prevent them from germinating in the first place. Of course, this means that it can also prevent the plants you want to grow from germinating; therefore, you should be careful where you apply it.

Bad Tip #4: Water Your Plants at Night
There are two common incorrect gardening tips regarding when to water. The first is that you should always water at night for best results. In some climates, however, this can lead to excess fungal growth on and around your plants. Contrary to popular belief, most plants should have time to dry out on occasion. Dark and cool environments encourage fungal growth. If you find orange rust-like growths on your plants, stop watering them at night and switch to earlier in the day.

Bad Tip #5: Do Not Water Your Plants on Hot Days
The second incorrect watering tip is to not water plants on sunny summer days to avoid scorching the leaves. Again, gardeners are not sure how this idea came to exist as it has no scientific basis. Water will not scorch your leaves, even on a hot day. If you are going through a drought, or your soil is not well balanced, you may experience leaf scorching. Watering your plants regularly will help prevent this -- not watering them would only escalate the problem.

?Relying on tips and shortcuts can often help make your garden much more successful. However, you should find reliable sources for all gardening tips, and should double check new tips with more experienced gardeners before implementing them in your garden.

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