Some Great Gardening Myths

When it comes to great gardening myths – this is the collection area and I’ll add to them as they pop up on Facebook. Might be hard keeping up though…

What about putting some extra chemical plant food in the hole when I plant?

Don’t put fertilizer down the hole. End of discussion. Not good for the plant.

What About Special Tomato Plant Food

Fertilizer is fertilizer. Putting a tomato picture on the box doesn’t make it special – it only sells more fertilizer.
It’s like those pictures of sheep on the bagged manure. It’s all cattle manure but sheep sell better. So if you’re using a good organic fertilizer and compost, you’re doing all you really need to do.


Folks who put things in the holes like eggshells (eggshells don’t deteriorate very quickly so there’s nothing available to the plant in this growing season in any case) are in my opinion simply making themselves feel better. I think it’s a lot of work for not much gain but if it makes you feel better, then go for it.

Epsom Salts

These are magnesium and yes, tomatoes appreciate magnesium. BUT, if your soil isn’t magnesium deficient, then it’s a waste of time. It’s one of those great myths promoted across the Net.
The only real use is if you’re in an intensive crop production system (as in a big farm pushing the heck out of your soil). Intensive cultivation can use it up. Home gardeners don’t garden at that level.

Flour Is An Insecticide

This one is roiling around and the recommendation is to dust your plants with white flour. Seriously! DON’T. All it will do is block respiration and slow the plants down. It won’t kill pests of any kind or description. I’ll even bet some of you can name pests that are attracted to flour.

Add Pennies To The Soil For Copper

Pennies are made from a zinc alloy. Not going to either degrade or provide copper.

You’re going to read that dropping a tomato in hot water will make it taste better.

The study was done on Florida tomatoes. These are picked green, and gassed to turn them red as they travel north. We all know they taste like cardboard.
No, that’s being kind to cardboard.
The researchers found if they dunked a freshly harvested, and barely red tomato into 125F/51C water and then immediately afterwards cooled it normally, the taste would stabilize. Then they’d ship it north.
In other words, instead of tasting like cardboard, the tomato in our stores would taste like a unripe, green tomato.
Which you have to agree is an improvement.
I also read an article that claimed it worked on vine-ripened tomatoes according to their trials. They tested with 10 people and 8 of the 10 preferred the dunked tomatoes.
Personally – we grow vine ripened, heirloom tomatoes and I’m not going to be dunking them to improve the taste.
It really gets strange out on the Net some days.

4 thoughts on “Some Great Gardening Myths”

  1. Not all of these crazy ideas are “free” – some of them involve buying products which are totally unnecessary.

  2. Oh…the Epsom salts!!!!! Will cure any plant ail, and most human ails. I recently saw an item that said epsom salt would cure a ganglion cyst! I cringe every time I see Epsom salts mentioned on a gardening site.

  3. I like to dig a fish head into the soil before winter starts, so it’s ready for planting season.

  4. LOL – I have enough trouble with raccoons without giving them that excuse to dig the garden. But if it works for you (I prefer the readily available liquid fish emulsion) 🙂

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