Gardening Tips You Should Ignore

Five myths that you and your plants would be better off disregarding.

Gardening Tips You Should Ignore
Photo: Thinkstock

1. Sweeten tomatoes with sugar: Sugar can actually stunt the growth of plants, so it might be best to add it to a cup of tea rather than to the soil. If you want to grow sweeter tomatoes, look for different tomato varieties.

2. Water wilted, yellowing plants: Although it may seem like the natural solution, water isn’t always the answer. Overwatering can also cause plants to wilt or discolour, so unless the soil is dry, it is time to surrender the watering can.

3. Bury banana peels and coffee grounds: While burying banana peels can provide your plants with beneficial potassium, it can also suck up nitrogen that they need to grow. Buried coffee grounds nourish the soil but it can benefit some plants and poison others, so make sure you do your research first. If you’re determined to put your discarded peels and coffee grounds to good use, composting them is the best option.

4. Fight pests with mothballs and soapy water: You may keep the bugs away, but burying mothballs can spread toxins in the garden and spraying dish soap on your plants can burn them. If you’re determined to try either of these, test them in a small area of the garden first.

5. The more fertiliser the better: This is where the “too much of a good thing” rule comes in. While garden fertiliser can do wonders for your plants, going overboard can burn your plants rather than increase their growth. Before emptying the entire bag onto your favourite plant, consult the instructions.

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