Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Spring Bulbs – When Is The Best Time To Plant?

Almost every gardener grows spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus. Millions of new bulbs are sold every year and yet people do not agree on the best time to plant them. Some want to plant early, as soon as they arrive in shops. Others say that you should wait until the ground gets an early frost. Some wait until the ground is fully frozen, but that is usually because they forgot to plant earlier.

A couple of years ago I was in a large nursery that specialized in spring bulbs. It was early September in a zone 5 climate and a manager told me not to plant the bulbs for a couple of months until we had a light frost. I looked him in the eye and asked about the bulbs I had planted in prior years – they were already in the ground. Do they need to be dug up so I could re-plant them after frost? He did not have an answer.

Lets have a look at the science and figure out when you should plant spring bulbs.

When is the best time to plant spring bulbs?

When is the best time to plant spring bulbs?

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Podcast With Root Simple – Keep Gardening Simple

Erick Knutzen and Kelly Coyne from Root Simple interviewed me about a wide range of gardening topics. They wanted to better understand my gardening philosophy and how I manage to take care of a 6 acre garden with a lot less effort than most gardeners. Keeping it simple and understanding the real reasons why we do things in the garden allow me to enjoy the garden more, with less effort.

In this podcast you will learn some of my secretes, which anyone can use.

  • The why and how of Aspen Grove gardens
  • Keeping fertilizer to a minimum
  • Using chemicals sparingly
  • Benefits of cut and drop composting
  • Compost tea myths
  • Understanding bokashi
  • You can have too much compost
  • Controlling mosquitoes with plants
  • Treating vegetables different than landscape plants
  • Organic vs synthetic fertilizer
  • Learning to accept some pests

 

Listen to the Root Simple podcast now

 

Click to see other podcasts

Erick Knutzen and Kelly Coyne from Root Simple

Erick Knutzen and Kelly Coyne from Root Simple

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Jiffy Peat Pellets – Not Good For The Environment

Jiffy peat pellets, also called Jiffy pellets and Jiffy-7, are a convenient way to start seeds. Just add water to the small pellets and they expand, ready for us. Place a seed in the top and in no time you will have happy seedlings.

This all sounds like a good idea, but how well do plants grow? Are the pellets bio-degradable in the garden?

Jiffy-7 pellets not good for the environment

Jiffy-7 pellets for starting seeds

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Compost Tea NPK Values

Compost tea is reported to be great for growing plants and some companies even call it a compost tea fertilizer. What is the NPK value of this magic potion?

I started this post about a year ago and at that time there were many products on the market but I could not find one that provided the Compost Tea NPK value. I checked again today and was surprised that the number of compost tea products available is down significantly. Maybe it was too expensive to ship all that water around the country? Maybe it did not work and people stopped buying the product?

Interestingly, the number of commercial DIY kits for making your own tea is up significantly. When you click on Google images for ‘bottles of tea’ you are taken to pages selling kits. Even with kits the same question needs to be asked. What is the NPK value of the tea these kits produce. Very few of the manufacturers I looked at provided such information, but many did say their compost ingredients were the best. Easy to say if you don’t give any data.

Even if you are not interested in compost tea – the following discussion will show you how companies are misleading consumers.

What is the NPK value of compost tea?

What is the NPK value of compost tea?

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Will TUMS Cure Blossom End Rot?

People speculate that blossom end rot in tomatoes and peppers is caused by a lack of calcium in the soil. Many now suggest that dropping a TUMS (common brand of antacid) into the soil below each tomato or pepper will prevent this problem.

Will TUMS cure blossom end rot (BER)?

This is a very good example of a myth that can be debunked very easily, knowing nothing about BER.

Will Tums Cure Blossom End Rot?

Will TUMS Cure Blossom End Rot?

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