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Garden Advice from Some Guy

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July 20, 2018

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist


It seems everywhere you look there’s gardening advice but is it reliable today on Southern Gardening.

Magazines, books, websites, horticulturists, Master Gardeners and that guy your neighbor knows all have sure fire gardening tips to share. But some tips should be ignored. Let’s look at a few. One persistent tip that is totally wrong is to apply dressing to pruning cuts for protection. The truth is that trees don’t need our help for healing pruning cuts. Dressing can trap disease organisms under the dressing, trees actually produce wound wood to seal off the damaged tissue.Another tip to control aphids is to release ladybugs in the garden. Lady bugs are fantastic beneficial insects that devour great numbers of aphids. But Lady Bugs are generally solitary and when released them in the garden they probably won’t hang around very long. One bum tip that even I suggested in the distant past was to use gravel, rocks, or broken pots in the bottom of containers to increase drainage. The fact is that water doesn’t flow well between different materials in a container. Fine particles on top of coarse become soggy before any water is released into the coarse layer. The rocks and gravel actually makes the situation worse. Always use commercial container mix available at home improvement and garden centers. These mixes have been engineered to have the right physical properties to have good container drainage. Don’t always trust the garden tips you might hear from some guy. Until next time, I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman enjoying our Southern Gardening.

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