Soaking up the sun outdoors is one of the life’s greatest pleasures. Enjoying the rays while surrounded by a lush, thriving garden can only enhance that experience. Fall and winter, however, tend to be when plants can start to look a little scraggly and meak. It’s safe to say there’s a lot to think about when it comes to gardening, so that’s why it’s important to know which tips are worth following and which ones should be totally ignored.
Horticulturist Adam Woodhams helps us debunk some of the most common gardening myths to deliver you the best no-nonsense gardening advice.
Myth 1: Only water plants in the evening.
While hotly debated, this tidbit of gardening wisdom is little more than a work of fiction.
“Watering at the end of the day often leads to excessive evaporation, so water is lost, and this in turn raises humidity around the plants or lawn overnight increasing the risk of fungal problems and rot,” says Woodhams. Yikes! He recommends watering your garden in the morning to reduce water loss and to re-hydrate them for the day ahead.
Myth 2: All fertilizers are the same.
Believing that all fertilizers are made equal is where novice gardeners often stumble. According to Woodhams, there are two main types of fertilizers: those blended for a quick-fix, and those with controlled-release properties.
“Quality controlled-release fertilizer will often only need to be applied once a year, and will release the right balance of nutrients when your plants need them,” he says.
Myth 3: Plants can never have too much sun.
It may seem like a good idea to give your greenery as much sunlight as possible, but it could actually end up doing more harm than good. “When you’re planting something new,” Woodhams says, “always look at its requirements on the label and match them as best you can.”
Myth 4: Skip the mulch.
“It’s never too late to mulch,” says Woodhams. In fact, mulching is one of the best ways you can protect your plants from water loss and heat damage. Mulching keeps plant roots insulated and helps them stay hydrated for longer,” he says.
Not only that, but mulching increases your garden’s sustainability by cutting your water use in half. “Natural water from rainfall will have a much better chance of making it into the soil, rather than becoming run-off,” he says.
Myth 5: Water droplets will burn leaves.
This idea is so ingrained in gardening knowledge many haven’t stopped to consider whether it’s actually physically possible for water to magnify the sun’s rays and damage plant leaves. Turns out, it’s not!
“Most plants, grass included, have foliage that is quite capable of tolerating droplets as the water will likely evaporate or run-off before the sunlight reaches an intensity where damage may occur.” If you’re still concerned, “water the soil around the plant base, not the plants themselves,” says Woodhams.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.