By Candy Venning

Hot enough for ya?

Well folks, now that the grass is turning brown and air conditioners are a blasting it’s time for some spooky garden tales by the ol’ campfire. Well, no, not really, but how about some well worn (out) folklore about gardens? Here’s a wee list compiled through an unscientific opinion poll via some fellow garden enthusiasts.

  • Don’t water the plants/grass/flowers at noon or they will burn.

Hmmm, now let’s ponder that a minute…how could they burn if they’re wet? How about sun showers that happen suddenly and then rainbows appear? Gasp! Are rainbows just the pretty exhaust from a thousand plants going ‘poof!’?

This is not a real thing, perhaps it’s better to water in the morning or evening to avoid some extra evaporation (and possibly dueling cowboys) from the heat of high noon but your plants will be better off by watering them whenever you can, especially if it’s a scorcher out.

  • Goldenrod causes allergies.

This is a big whopping, outright lie, Fake news and a case of mistaken identity – Goldenrod is a very attractive late blooming, pollinator source of fabulous long lasting golden flowers – it DOES NOT cause allergies. Ragweed, which blooms at around the same time but doesn’t have attractive flowers, is virtually invisible DOES cause allergies for many. The high visibility of Goldenrod and the low visibility of ragweed, flowering at the same time, has created a case of mistaken identity. It’s unfortunate because I really enjoy watching all the insects feasting on

the Goldenrod in my garden and would love more people to plant it.

  • Crushed eggshells deter slugs and snails.

The theory is that the shells are sharp and the soft bodies of slugs and snails will avoid the sharp edges…nope. There is a great little video on you tube that shows snails and slugs crossing razors edges, saws and other sharp items without a care in the world. There’s no harm in recycling crushed or finely ground eggshells back into the garden to provide a modicum of calcium to your soil but know that it does not, in any way, deter slugs and snails.

Check out this link for more info re eggshells

  • Coffee grinds and peat moss can acidify your soil for Rhodos and other acid loving plants

Well, I’m going to skip to the end here and just say – this is untrue, it’s been tested and it doesn’t work. It’s hard to grow healthy & robust rhododendrons & azaleas in southern Ontario. Personally, I’ve grown tired of these plants moodily wasting away to a few sticks with a quick flash of disappointing spring flowers. If your soil isn’t naturally acidic, don’t try and grow acid loving plants.

  • Orange Mulch looks good

This one, well, it made me laugh so I had to include it. I have ranted about the perils of coloured mulch in gardens before. Orange mulch MAY be suitable in a gas station, or possibly an art installation to ‘add colour’ but it’s not a naturally occurring colour for anything I’m aware

of that exists on the ground, in Canada. It’s rather obnoxious, so am I but that’s another article altogether.