The Pitfalls of Internet Advice

The internet is full of complicated garden advice.  If you tried to follow it all, you’d drive yourself crazy trying to put 15 things in each hole with each plant (and not the same things!) and spend a fortune on a stash of micronutrients, amendments, fertilizers and snake oil.  You’d scratch your head and wonder how to plant garlic with tomatoes when they don’t grow in the same season and spray half-identified bugs with noxious substances you make in your blender.

Some of the advice is well-meaning but inaccurate, some is not well-meaning and is instead intended to part you from some of your hard earned money, and a little bit of it is actually true, at least under certain circumstances that may or may not apply to you.  Of the true items, some of the benefits are so minor they aren’t worth the trouble.

Filtering through the advice can be time-consuming, difficult and annoying.  A good place to start is Linda Chalker-Scott’s The Informed Gardener, her sequel The Informed Gardener Blooms Again, and her Horticultural Myths web site.

The reality is that if some advice you come across involves common household items which purportedly improve a plant in non-specific and in a non-quantifiable way, it’s probably safe to ignore it, even in the rare instances when that advice is true.

(By Nicole Castle)

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