Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Posts tagged Soil

Soil Bacteria – The Myth of Identification & Managment

Bacteria are a vital part of soil and the health of plants, so it is no wonder that there is a lot of talk about keeping soil bacteria healthy, increasing their numbers, having the right kimnd of bacteria, and so on. It only makes sense that if bacteria are important for plants, gardeners should (a) know more about them and (b) learn to manage them properly.

Unfortunately, along with good practical information, you will also find quite a few soil bacteria myths. The one I’d like to discuss today deals with the idea that you can figure out which type of bacteria you have. Armed with this information, you can then manage the populations to increase the ones that are most beneficial for your plants.

Soil bacteria staring back at you under a microscope

Soil bacteria staring back at you through a microscope

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Humus Does not Exist – Says New Study

As a gardener we all talk about humus. Some of us even buy humus soil, and humic substances like humic acid and fulvic acid. We add compost to gardens to increase the humus level in our soils in the belief that humus is good for soil. Good garden soil is dark because of the high humus content.

If there is one thing all gardeners agree on, it is that humus is good for the garden – right?

Maybe not!

Science now says our beliefs about humus may be wrong. In this blog I will review some earth shattering news – or is that soil shattering news?

humus Contentious Nature of Soil Organic Matter

Humus Does Not Exist – Says New Study: The Contentious Nature of Soil Organic Matter, by Johannes Lehmann & Markus Kleber, published in Nature

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Fertilizer Garden Myths

A lot of the stuff on the internet is garbage when it comes to gardening advice. I am not surprised about that since many people just repeat what they have heard and give it very little thought. Some garden writers don’t actually do much gardening – they are writers, not gardeners. I rarely believe information unless it comes from experts in a field, government sites or published research articles.

This blog is about an information guideline on fertilizers and soil amendments which is published by a government source – one you should be able to trust. Unfortunately it is full of incorrect or misleading advice. Let’s have a look at some fertilizer gardening myths.

fertilizer garden myths; Lobelia cardinalis X Lobelia siphilitica, by Robert Pavlis

Lobelia cardinalis X Lobelia siphilitica, grows just fine without added fertilizer, by Robert Pavlis

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Eggshells – Decomposition Study

The advice to add egg shells to the garden or compost pile is very common. In my last post I looked at some evidence that suggested eggshells do not break down in a compost pile or in soil – at least not very quickly. The one exception where eggshells do break down is very finely ground eggshells added to acidic soil .

How quickly do eggshells break down in soil? Is it 6 months or 5 years? Maybe it’s 100 years? No one seems to know. In this post I will describe a 6 year study that has been started to find out if eggshells decompose in that period of time.

Eggshells - Do They Decompose In The Garden 1

Eggshells – Do They Decompose In The Garden – supplies, by Robert Pavlis

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Eggshells – Do They Decompose In The Garden?

Lots of people add eggshells to the garden or compost pile. It is claimed that they add important calcium to the soil for plants. Is this true? How well do they decompose? What happens to them in a compost pile? Do they add any value to the garden?

Eggshells - Do They Decompose In The Garden 6

Eggshells that have been sitting in the garden for more than a year, by Robert Pavlis

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