Peter answers your top gardening myths
With years of experience in the horticultural industry our Peter has come across plenty of gardening myths. We put some of the most common to him to see whether they were true and could save us time and effort in the garden or not.
Does soaking seeds in warm water before sowing help?
It can do but not with all seeds. All seeds will need to absorb water before germination takes place so soaking them will speed the germination process up in many plants.
Can the smell of coffee grounds used on precious plants, help ward off pests?
Yes, coffee is a great deterrent for slugs and snails as they don’t like moving over the grounds. The husks will rot down into the soil so are good for your plants too.
Will using coffee grounds on hydrangeas, change their colour?
Hydrangeas are generally pink in alkaline soils and blue in acidic soils. As coffee is acidic it will alter the PH of the soil and turn pink flowers blue, depending on the volume used.
How can you make your own plant feed?
You can cut nettles, put them in a bucket, add water and leave for a few days then pour on your plants. You can also use comfrey leaves allowed to rot in water, horse or cow manure soaked in water, and the liquid that comes from wormeries.
Is there an eco-friendly way of getting rid of slugs?
The best method is simply to go into the garden every night and physically pick them off your plants. If that doesn’t sound like something you can commit to, you can use beer traps, keep hens or ducks in the garden, encourage slow worms, hedgehogs and frogs to help cull the slug population in your garden.
Does vodka or pennies in the water help cut flowers stay fresher longer?
It probably would as it’s very sweet and cut flowers will use this. Lemonade would do a similar job for the teetotalers.
How can you make the best compost for the garden?
Use mixed layers of soft organic waste eg prunings, grass cuttings peelings etc. Place in a big bin or pile. Every six inches sprinkle a layer of Garotta compost maker or add fresh farm yard manure as these feeds the microorganisms that break the green waste down. It will get hot as it does this and that sterilises it meaning you get no smells.