You may have heard some of these gems from your Grandmother, Mother, Favorite Aunt or the wise old farmer next house over. Their origins and history have a way of sticking in your memory bank and you never quite know if they really do work. Here’s what I’ve found in researching the topics.
ROCKS IN THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POTS
Putting rocks in pots before adding soil and a plant is a classic.
This one is verified by well know experts and the nice folks at the garden store. Instead; add a coffee filter or a piece of broken clay pot, preferably a curved section so the water will drain. The rocks do not keep soil in, and plant roots tend to grow into them. Roots get no nourishment from rocks.
COFFEE GROUNDS TO ACIDIFY SOIL
This one may have some benefits, but you need to evaluate your soil before heading to the coffee house of your choice. Most plants like a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. In some areas, you need to add acid because of high pH in water or soil. Here’s the one thing you may not know; used grounds have a neutral pH. Fresh grounds are acidic, however the contain a trace amount of nitrogen. So, you can add them to your compost bins. If you need to acidify your soil, a more efficient way is to add soil sulfur in the spring/fall.
SINGING TO YOUR PLANTS
There’s no firm proof, however some folks say their house plants benefit from classical, rock or soft piano music. However, the TV show Myth Busters determined plants grew best with constant heavy metal music. With or Without a teenager? Actually, the theory could work because of the added sound vibrations in the air.
I wouldn’t recommend standing in the garden singing, unless you alert your neighbors beforehand!
ADDING SUGAR TO SOIL TO MAKE YOUR TOMATOES SWEETER
Sorry, but adding sugar will not make the tomatoes sweeter. The tomatoes determine that and the plant’s photosynthesis.
PLANT POTATOES ON GOOD FRIDAY
I have read that cottagers were working so hard that Good Friday was the only day between New Year and Easter that they had free to get into their garden to start planting. Good Friday is before Easter Sunday and that day can fall at different times in March and April any given year, so can vary for areas and zones, so not sure if the potatoes will know they were planted on such a holy day.
BAGS OF WATER HUNG TO KEEP FLIES AWAY
This one is worth mentioning. Since flies have many eyes, they see lots of potential predators in the reflection of the water. Some add a few pennies to each bag to add to the scare factor. I have personally tried this, and it does work. I’ve seen it also in restaurants with outdoor seating. Here’s my method; fill a Ziplock bag ¾ with water (add pennies if you chose). You can use the quart size for over doorways and gallon in nearby trees or the pergola. Use push pins or small tacks to secure to the door frame. It’s also a great icebreaker at your cookout.
These were just a few that I found to be interesting. Gardening tips and methods seem to be plentiful and I often suggest that trial and error are the best ways to find out what works for your gardening. So if it works for you, keep it going!