Friday, 8 April 2016

“Plant with the moon, or your garden will fail”—& More Gardening Myths

Artist extraordinaire James Grasdal is putting the finishing touches on the 13th book in the Superman Duffy comic series—MYTHCONCEPTIONS. Which, you may have guessed has a little something to do with common “myths.” I love myths! So for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m going to “bust” as many of them as I can—every day (except Sundays) on the blog, throughout April.

Not familiar with the A to Z Challenge? Get the details here, and then hang on, because I’m about to blow your mind with my myth-inspired posts. (PS – Comment on the blogs throughout the month for a chance to WIN a complete set of the Superman Duffy comics, including lucky #13, MYTHCONCEPTIONS.)

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MYTH: Your garden will fail unless you plant with the moon.
Erm. I didn’t realize that this was an actual myth, a belief that has grown over time. (Ha! See what I did there?!) Grandma and I dug up an old Farmer’s Almanac that suggests that you should plant certain crops or vegetables according to the moon cycle. I guess if the moon’s phases align with when you are planning to plant anyways you can give it a try, but there’s no evidence to prove this statement. Can you imagine if farmers planted like that? I have a feeling there would be a few less crops out there!

I figured there wouldn’t be many other gardening myths, but my grandma says gardening is serious business—and some people will do anything to increase their chances of growth, especially in Alberta’s short growing season. That rain dance you do after a week of heat might work, but here are some gardening myths that probably should be buried…Beneath the SOIL. <grin>

MYTH:  Add gravel in the bottom of pots for drainage.
Not 100% true. The truth is, a few thumb-sized rocks can help improve drainage, but gravel will eventually fill the crevices with potting soil and trap water, which is worse.

MYTH: Old seeds won’t sprout.
Not true! While older seeds may take a little longer to sprout, but there’s no magical ‘best fefore’ date that renders seeds “dead.” My grandma says the date stamped on the seed packs indicate when they were packaged, not when they should be “used” by.

MYTH: Painting pruning cuts protects trees from disease.
My mom does this—paints the stumps of branches she cuts off when pruning her trees. There’s no evidence to suggest this works, and some research says it might actually make it harder for the tree to heal. Guess I should talk to her about that myth, pronto!

MYTH: Organic pesticides are not as harmful.
Like I’ve said before, just because something is organic (or labeled that way) doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Pesticide is pesticide. Yes, some are less harmful than others—and like farmers, gardeners should pay attention to labels—even something like Epsom salts that I like to use in the bath when my muscles are sore, can affect soil.

Speaking of myth busting, many years ago, Canadian astronaut Mr. Robert Thirsk took 250,000 canola seeds up into space to see how—if at all—anti-gravity would affect seed growth. That project became CanoLab, which then turned into Tomatosphere You can read more about Mr. Thirsk in IT’S A BLAST!, one of the books in the Superman Duffy series.

Okay, gotta jet! See you tomorrow for some HEALTH myths that will Blow. Your. Mind.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

PS – Comment on this post, or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to WIN a complete set of the Superman Duffy comics. A winner will be chosen at random on May 1.

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