Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Building Natural Ponds Book is Released

Pond building was not entirely new to me when I decided to build a large pond ten years ago. I had built a few small traditional ponds in the past, and my previous project was a large, multi-level waterfall and pond combination. These had all followed traditional designs and used pumps to keep the water clean. My new pond would be in an area that did not have electricity, and I didn’t really want to run a new hydro line to the location. I wondered, is it possible to build a natural pond with no electricity?

After much research it became clear that all of the experts agreed – it was not possible to make a lined pond without pumps and filters. That made no sense to me and I decided to prove the experts wrong. Move ahead 10 years and I have not only built such a pond, but have become somewhat of an expert on the subject. After writing a few articles for magazines like Mother Earth News, a publisher approached me to write the first book on natural ponds.

I am very happy to announce its release; Building Natural Ponds, by Robert Pavlis.

Building Natural Ponds, by Robert Pavlis

Building Natural Ponds, by Robert Pavlis

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The “Science Does Not Know Everything” Conundrum

What happens when science says one thing and you believe something different? Our brains are designed to fight such situations and we try to apply logic to justify our beliefs – we basically make stuff up so that we can continue to accept our beliefs.

One of the most common reasons to dismiss science, is to point out the fact that “science does not know everything”. If it does not know everything, then it might be wrong in all cases.

That seems logical, but it’s not.

If science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. We should always adopt a view that accords with the facts. - Dalai LamaLink to the source of this image

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Do Houseplants Increase Oxygen Levels?

Houseplants have a great reputation for purifying the air in our homes. In Air Purifying Plants – Do They Work?,  I debunked the idea that houseplants remove VOCs (toxic chemicals) from our home – it is just a well publicized myth. Several people commenting on that post and the post called A Garden Myth is Born – Plants Don’t Purify Air, to make the point that plants do more than remove chemicals – houseplants increase oxygen levels in the air. This increased oxygen contributes a lot to our well being – or so people claim. Do houseplants increase oxygen levels in the home?

House plants don't increase oxygen levels in the home.

House plants don’t increase oxygen levels in the home.

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Does Cornmeal Kill Slugs and Snails?

The claim is that slugs and snails are attracted to cornmeal and after eating it, the cornmeal expands and kills them. What a simple organic method for getting rid of slugs, but does it work?

Does Cornmeal Kill Slugs and Snails?

Does Cornmeal Kill Slugs and Snails?

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Trace Mineral Fertilizers – How Many Nutrients Do Plants Need?

I just replied to a comment in my Fish Fertilizer Post which said, “It’s surprising the article makes no mention of the full spectrum of minerals present in sea food, and therefore the fertilizer. Sea water is known to have an astounding 82 elements (don’t have the link, please Google it) The only thing that prevents us from using sea water as fertilizer is the high sodium content. Fish do the wonderful job of filtering out that excess sodium and leaving you with extremely mineral rich organic matter ! “.

A couple of weeks ago at the Guelph Organic Conference, one of the salespeople selling an Australian sea salt extract, claimed that his product contained 99 nutrients that plants need.

I found the following claim on a company website; “Azomite – Organic Trace Mineral Powder – 67 Essential Minerals for You and Your Garden”. Azomite is a brand name product made from “special” rock dust.

Why does fertilizer only show three nutrient numbers, NPK, when plants need either 67, 82 or 99 nutrients? Inquisitive gardeners want to know.

Periodic Table of Elements

Periodic Table of Elements

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