10 Gardening Facts You Were Not Aware Of
27 April 2018
For many gardeners their gardens are their sanctuary, an extension of their home, and a place for rest and relaxation. And most garden enthusiasts know their own garden very well, and take great pleasure in tending to their garden maintenance. And yet, there are probably hundreds of little things you never knew about your garden. In this article we look at the top 10 things you (probably) never knew, that we think will excite and delight you. You'll never look at your garden the same way again....
1. Salt is your best pest killer
Some hard-core gardeners might already know that salt is a great way to eliminate slugs, but it can also be used for other pests. Just sprinkle some around your prized plants, flowers and vegetables and wave goodbye to those little nibble holes. The great thing about salt is that it's on hand pretty much whenever you need it, it's cheap, plus it won't do any harm to your garden or any pets in your home, just the pests. Plus you can mix up a pretty handy weed killer by mixing a cup of salt with two cups of water and spraying it on. Is there anything salt can't do? It's a top tip your local gardening company probably uses.
2. Compost doesn't have to smell
Perhaps you enjoy the smell of compost, for a lot of people it brings back pleasant memories. But if you're composting properly (i.e. using leftovers from your meals and rubbish in your home) the smell might be a little less enjoyable. But, don't let that put you off the idea of composting, because there is a way, a very simple way, to stop the stench: just pop some wet, shredded paper to your compost pile and voila: scent free.
3. Your garden enjoys a cuppa too
OK, perhaps it doesn't want an actual cup of tea, but believe it or not, tea leaves are actually really good for your soil and certain types of plants. Acid loving plants and ferns in particular respond really well to having tea as part of their diet. So if your keen to grow these types of plants, next time you are out shopping pick up some tea leaves, sprinkle them around the base of your plants, top it off with mulch and watch them grow. A great, natural way to help with garden maintenance.
4. Foil can protect your plants
We don't mean cover your plants with foil to protect them from the sun, instead use it to keep pesky, nosey birds away. It's a trick recommended by top gardening services, and super effective. Just hang some foil from your plants, and you'll suddenly see far less visitors from the sky. For larger garden visitors, like foxes and cats, stringing foil wrapped sea-shells across plants will give them a shock if they try to intrude. And if bugs are a problem, pop some small strips of foil in your mulch, and they're sure to keep away.
5. You can employ banana peels to defend your rose bushes
Rose bushes are a haven for aphids, so wise gardeners are always looking for a way to deter them, and prevent them damaging their beautiful roses. And luckily there is a super easy way to do just that. All you need to do is chop up your banana peels once you’re done with them, and plant them around the base of the rose bush. Magic.
6. Bananas are great to attract friendly wildlife
If you are keen to get more beautiful, friendly wildlife (such as birds, butterflies or bees) into your garden then banana and other fruit are a handy tool. Overripe bananas are particularly good lures, but do beware as wasps are also a fan of fruit, so be careful about where you put it. But it does mean you increase the chances of seeing the flutter of a butterfly, while you're pottering around doing your lawn care.
7. You can magically change the colours of your hydrangeas
Do you prefer pink hydrangeas but only ever seem to get the blue ones bloom in your garden? Then have we got a tip for you: hydrangeas colour is affected by the PH level in the soil, so you can literally change the colour of your flowers just by making changes to your soil. It's the perfect solution for all you landscapers who are keen to get just the right colour in your arrangement. To get the blue come through, use organic materials in your soil like coffee and eggs shells. Just be aware you might have to be a bit patient, changes won't happen instantly.
8. Your plants are listening to you
It might sound like a creepy 80s movie plot, but science has proven definitively that plants do respond to sound. So when you’re landscaping, give your blooms a little sing song, or have a chat about the weather. The more you chat with them, the better they will grow. (Just make sure you're alone when you do it – you don't want your neighbours calling you the crazy gardener).
9. Your soil is alive!
It is beyond mind boggling, but science has found that there are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil in your garden, than there are on people on earth. We don't recommend thinking about this point too much as it can really make your brain hurt. But it is pretty impressive, so just think about that the next time your scoop up soil for your landscape design project.
10. The majestic sunflower is not a single flower
We think we saved the best till last: did you know that the centre of a sunflower, as well as all its petals are actually individual flowers (around 1,000-2,000 of them in fact) just living together on a single stalk. (Go and impress all your friends who are landscape gardeners with that one!)