Water Droplets on Leaves

Colorado State Univ. Field Day

As I was learning to garden, I repeatedly heard the “experts” telling us not to water in the middle of the day. The prevailing wisdom was that any water droplets on the foliate would act as little magnifying glasses, burning tender leaves. (Think of using a magnifying glass to start a campfire, and you get the idea.)

Then, we all learned that this was a gardening myth. Water droplets are too close to the plant tissue for sunlight to focus on the leaf and cause any damage.

Continue reading “Water Droplets on Leaves”

Pennies—Good for Thoughts, but Not Tomato Blight

Tomatoes - cherry Sunsweet @home LAH-001I recently ran across an article claiming that a penny can help your tomato plants fight off blight. Apparently, the reasoning goes like this:

  • Copper is known to kill molds, algae, fungi, and microbes.
  • Pennies are made out of copper.
  • Therefore, inserting a penny into a tomato stem (or burying it at the roots) will keep your plant from succumbing to diseases caused by molds, algae, fungi, or microbes.

Since I’ve lost tomato plants to Early Blight, a common problem in Colorado, I’d love for this idea to work. I have some pennies lying around; let’s put them to good use, right?

Well, not really.

Continue reading “Pennies—Good for Thoughts, but Not Tomato Blight”

Probiotics for your Lawn?

I recently received this ad in the mail:

Lawn Doctor ad 09.47.51

While I noticed the baby crawling on the grass, the dog,  and the blurbs—“Better for you, your loved ones & your pets” and “50% less synthetics”—all designed to convey safety (with even more health references on the back), it was the word “Probiotic” that really caught my attention.

Probiotics are a hot topic. Research is constantly discovering how important our gut biomes are. But a lawn is not a digestive system. It looks impressive on the advertising, but is there really any point to putting probiotics on your grass?

Continue reading “Probiotics for your Lawn?”

Don’t Depend on Facebook Garden Advice

Colorado Columbine_YankeeBoyBasin-CO_4741 11 x 14

I finally had to unsubscribe from our local gardening Facebook group. It was just too painful. While there was much group wisdom (especially when it comes to identifying mystery plants), a significant portion of the advice being handed out by various self-proclaimed experts was just plain wrong. I got tired of cringing, and I didn’t want to be THAT person who acted as if they knew it all. I don’t, but I’m learning.

Continue reading “Don’t Depend on Facebook Garden Advice”

Is Deadheading a Waste of Time?

 

Rosa - Rose @DBG 19sept05 LAH 136

“Deadhead” can mean a number of things: a fan of the Grateful Dead, to complete a trip without paying passengers or freight, or an airline crewmember hitching a free ride on a plane so they can get to their assigned flight. If you’re a gardener, then deadheading means pinching off faded flowers.

Continue reading “Is Deadheading a Waste of Time?”

The Myth of Weed-free Landscaping

Today I’m revisiting a topic I first talked about back in 2013. I normally don’t do this, as I assume you can go back and reread whatever you’d like, using the options at in the sidebar at right. However, this is an issue that I think needs a lot more attention. I’m so frustrated, I could scream.

What is this horrific landscaping practice that makes me cringe? Landscape fabric.

Continue reading “The Myth of Weed-free Landscaping”

Does Your Garden Need Dawn?

LAH_7580Once again, the blogosphere is full of recipes for weed killer, lawn restorer, insecticides, etc., all containing dish detergent. Most of them call specifically for Dawn, although I recently encountered someone promoting Joy instead. The most popular herbicide recipe includes vinegar and dish detergent. Some add Epsom salts. Others add plain table salt. It’s a supposedly “organic” or “natural” alternative to a purchased product.

Continue reading “Does Your Garden Need Dawn?”

Garden Advice: Blossom End Rot

blossom end rot - public domainYou’ve put in the effort and grown your own juicy tomatoes. But when you finally go to pick them, you realize that the end opposite the stem is sunken and oozing. Yuck—it’s disgusting. Who wants to eat a tomato that’s rotting on the vine?

What you have is a tomato with blossom end rot (BER). It’s just what the name suggests—the blossom end of the tomato (where the flower fell off long ago) is decomposing, ruining the fruit. (Yes, we all know that tomatoes are fruit.) The question isn’t identifying the problem, it’s solving it. How can we keep our tomatoes (and peppers, watermelon, cucumbers, and squash) from succumbing?

Continue reading “Garden Advice: Blossom End Rot”

A Garden Retrospective

NewSantaFeTrl-COS-CO_LAH_2657

How did your garden grow this past year? Did everything flourish? Did you make mistakes? What do you intend to keep on doing, and what will you change for the future? Occurring as it does in the coldest part of the year, New Year’s is an excellent time to review last year’s garden and then apply the knowledge gained to this coming growing season.

Continue reading “A Garden Retrospective”