Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Archive for the Plant Care Category

Sunscald on Trees – Prevention

It might surprise you to learn that trees do get sunscald or sunburn and the remedy is not an SPF 30 lotion. Sunscald on trees usually happens on the south or south-west exposed bark. The bark is damaged and in severe cases can result in the death of the tree.

Historically, sunscald has been prevented by wrapping or painting the trunk of the tree. Do these preventative methods work? Are they still recommended? Time to have a closer look at the problem.

sunscald on sugar maple tree, prevention, by Robert Pavlis

Sunscald on a sugar maple tree, by Robert Pavlis

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Eggshells – How Not to Use Them in the Garden

Almost weekly I see a post in social media extolling the benefits of adding eggshells to the garden. In this post I am going to have a serious look at all of the benefits claimed for eggshells. Which advice makes sense and which is just a lot of bull?

eggshells in the garden

Eggshells in the garden

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Orchids – Do They Need Water?

More orchids are killed by over watering than for any other reason. It begs the question, how much water do they really need? How long can an orchid go without water?

I know they grow slowly and react slowly to their environment. They also die slowly. I decided to see if an orchid needs to be watered regularly.

Orchid without water - day 1, by Robert Pavlis

Orchid without water – day 1, by Robert Pavlis

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Styrofoam Cones – Do They Keep Roses Warm in Winter?

As winter approaches, we worry about our poor plants making it through the cold. All manor of wrapping devices are used to protect them and Styrofoam cones, also called rose cones, have become popular in recent years. Do these contraptions work? If they do, how much warmer do they keep your plants?

There is a lot of talk on the internet about Styrofoam cones. Many extension offices recommend them, and suppliers certainly tell you they work, but I was unable to find a single source of information that actually provided data to support the idea that Styrofoam cones keep plants warmer in winter.

So I decided to do some testing of my own.

Temperature changes with and without a Styrofoam Cone, by GardenMyths.com

Temperature changes with and without a Styrofoam Cone, by GardenMyths.com

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Double Dormancy In Seed – Does It Exist?

In a previous post, Seed Dormancy – Are Seeds Really Dormant?, I discussed Seed Dormancy and presented a new way for gardeners to look at seed development and seed dormancy. Today I would like continue the discussion by looking at double dormancy and ask the question, does it really exist?

If you plant some peony or trillium seed in the fall you won’t see any green growth until the second spring – if you’re lucky. This is routinely described as an example of double dormancy – the seed needs two cold periods before they germinate. The two stratification (cold) periods over come two dormancies, hence the name, double dormancy.

But is this really true? Do seeds like peony and trillium have have double dormancy? Does any seed have a double dormancy?

double dormancy, Peony grown from seed, by Robert Pavlis

Peony grown from seed at Aspen Grove Gardens, by Robert Pavlis

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