When it comes to gardens and gardeners, there are so many weird and wonderful tips out there. From superstitions, to out and out rumours, there really is no corner of the garden untouched by the realm of the fantastic. There are also a serious amount of crazy myths too.

Today we’re looking at the top five gardening myths and the actual factuals behind them.

Altering Soil (Adding Sand to Clay)
This is usually one that comes up in discussions of heavy, clay soils. Unfortunately, unless you can add some serious tonnage in equal parts of sand to your clay, you will never manage to alter the essential nature of your soil.

In fact, some gardeners think that adding pockets of sand without mixing well, can be detrimental and cause further water-drainage problems – not the required result at all.

Staking Young Trees
This one is a controversial topic for many gardeners but it does make sense. If you think about it, young trees that grow naturally are not staked. Instead, they are left to their own devices and grow up to be just as big and strong as every other tree. If you think about it a bit more, a little movement in their younger years may actually make trees stronger as they grow.

Buried Banana Peels
Burying banana peels is supposed to add potassium to your soil and many gardeners absolutely swear by this. Adding extras to your soil in localised areas can actually upset the delicate ecological balance that exists in your garden. It’s far better to add your bananas to your compost so they can break down and be added to the general loveliness of your compost mix.

Organic Is Best
Although we are HUGE fans of all things natural around here, sometimes the organic option is not actually the safest option. This is because chemicals have been around for a long, long time and are subjected to serious amounts of testing. In contrast, many ‘natural’ or organic products just have not been tested and their effects are unquantified. For example, many natural weed killers have lots of vinegar in their contents. Vinegar is a great weed killer but only works on the surface and can actually damage the plants around the weed.

Watering In the Middle of a Sunny Day
It has long been thought that watering your plants in the heat of the midday sun results in burnt leaves. This one just isn’t true – for real. Scientists discovered in 2010 that water droplets on non-hairy leaves did not burn plants. If you have hairy plants like beans and ferns however, watering at midday could cause problems. The best time of day for watering in the summer is during the evening – it’s also a lovely way to unwind, at one with your garden at the end of a long day.

So, there you have it. No need to save your banana skins, or worry about watering times. Just get out there and enjoy your garden – it will soon tell you if it’s unhappy.

Happy myth-free gardening!