Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Peat and Peat Moss – The True Story

There is a lot of talk these days about the environmental impact of using peat and peat moss in horticulture. We are told to stop using it so that we can preserve the peatlands. This sounds like the responsible thing to do but is this really a problem?

Are we running of peat? Reports seem to indicate that Europe has used up all of theirs and now Canada is starting to do the same. Is horticulture really responsible for the loss of bogs and wetlands?

If we don’t use peat or peat moss, what alternatives are there? Coir gets mentioned a lot but is it a suitable substitute? Is it a better choice, environmentally?

I have been following this story for some time, and I believe that much of the information is misunderstood. There are too many myths and it is time to try and sort things out. It’s a complex topic that will require several posts to tell The True Story About Peat.

86% of global peatlands remain undisturbed. This chart shows how the remaining 14% has been used.

86% of global peatlands remain undisturbed. This chart shows how the remaining 14% has been used.

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Rhubarb Myths

Rhubarb is a great vegetable that is one of the easiest things to grow. I deadhead the flower stem, mulch with wood chips and that is the only care the plant has gotten in 10 years. It produces every year. But gardeners need to make things more complicated and numerous rhubarb myths have developed.

Forced rhubarb is especially sweet - is this a rhubarb myth?

Forced rhubarb is especially sweet – is this a rhubarb myth?

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Will Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb Leaves Harm You?

Rhubarb is a favorite vegetable of gardeners in temperate climates since it is so easy to grow. We eat the stems, and know that you should never eat the leaves since they are poisonous due to high levels of oxalic acid.

I’ve known this fact since I was a kid so you can imagine my surprise when I learned a few weeks ago that this is all a big myth. Lets dig into the truth.

Will the Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb Leaves Harm You?

Will the Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb Leaves Harm You?

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Should cucumbers, squash, muskmelons and watermelons be grown near each other?

The reason cucumbers, squash, muskmelons and watermelons should not be grown near each other is that they are all cucurbits and may cross-pollinate to produce weird franken-gourds. This myth does have some truth in it, but it is not good gardening advice.

Cucumbers, squash, muskmelons and watermelons should not be grown near each other

Cucumbers, squash, muskmelons and watermelons should not be grown near each other

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Are Native Bees Dying?

Native bees are apparently in trouble. They are dying by the millions. We all need to plant more flowers to try and save the bees. Turns out that much of this is based on false information. We don’t actually know the status of most native bees.

In this post I will look at how this myth got started and discuss some real facts about native bees.

Are native bees dying? Bumblebee on flower

Are native bees dying? Bumblebee on flower

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