TEN COMMON GARDENING MYTHS BUSTED

10 Gardening Myths Busted

 

Some beliefs that have been around for several generations can waste both time in the garden and money, and the worst part is they may even harm your plants.

Here, we shed light on 10 of the most common myths.

MYTH #1: PUTTING RHUBARB LEAVES IN THE COMPOST BIN WILL MAKE THE COMPOST TOXIC.

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Rhubarb leaves indeed contain toxins—that’s why we only consume the leaf stalk, which has less oxalic acid than the leaf blade. When rhubarb decomposes, the oxalic acid quickly breaks down into water, carbon and oxygen: nothing dangerous there! The finished compost contains no trace of oxalic acid. You can put almost any poisonous leaf in the compost bin, as most natural poisons decompose rapidly. The exception is poison ivy (Toxico­ dendron radicans) and its relatives, because the toxic substance that coats them, urushiol, does not break down readily.

MYTH #2: BURYING RUSTY NAILS AT THE BASE OF BLUE HYDRANGEAS AND BLUE SPRUCES WILL MAKE THEM BLUER.

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Don’t waste your time trying this one. The iron from rusty nails will in no way change the colour of either plant. Besides, the iron isn’t soluble, so even if the plants needed it—and sometimes plants do—it would have no effect. The bigleaf hydrangea (blue hydrangea) turns pink in alkaline soils. To ensure a clear blue colour, you’ll need to add an acidifying agent to the soil, such as garden sulfur, aluminium sulfate or rhododendron fertilizer. But there’s nothing acidic about rusty nails. As for blue spruce, the only logical way to make one bluer is to simply buy the bluest spruce possible, since the colouring is determined by genetics.

MYTH #3: APPLYING COFFEE GROUNDS AROUND YOUR PLANTS WILL KEEP SLUGS AND INSECT PESTS AWAY, ACIDIFY AND ENRICH THE SOIL, AND CAN ALSO SERVE AS MULCH.

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In fact, coffee grounds have no particular beneficial effect. They’re simply a compostable waste product like any other kitchen or garden waste. Coffee grounds don’t repel insects of any kind, let alone slugs, they’re not acidic (by the time they’re fully decomposed, their pH is usually around 6.8—nearly neutral) and they tend to pack down and become too compact to make a good mulch. Plus, the caffeine they contain can even harm certain plants. In theory, coffee grounds can enrich the soil, but only when they’re completely decomposed. As they are decomposing, they actually rob nearby plants of nitrogen. You can apply them in small amounts around your plants without doing too much harm, but the real place for coffee grounds is in the compost bin.

MYTH #4: SURROUNDING A PLANT WITH CRUSHED EGGSHELLS WILL HELP PROTECT IT FROM SLUGS.

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According to this myth, slugs aren’t able to cross a barrier of crushed eggshells because the sharp edges cut into their bodies. Slugs are coated in mucus, which allows them to slide over their surroundings—even extremely sharp surfaces like shards of glass without any difficulty. Worse still, unless the eggshells are thoroughly washed, their odour may actually attract slugs.

MYTH #5: TO PROTECT PLANTS FROM SLUGS, PLACE A BOWL OF BEER IN THE GARDEN. ATTRACTED BY THE ODOUR, THEY'LL FALL INTO THE BEER AND DROWN.

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This belief can seem legitimate because, in the early morning, you’ll often find one or two slugs in the bottom of the bowl. During the night, when slugs are active, many will have visited the area, attracted by the smell of malt. However, most don’t fall into the beer; instead, they feed on it, then tend to stay nearby, so the slug population in that area may increase. Nevertheless, you can make this technique work if you place the bowl of beer far from plants you want to protect.

MYTH #6: WHEN REPOTTING A PLANT, PUTTING A DRAINAGE LAYER OF POT SHARDS, GRAVEL OR CLAY PEBBLES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POT WILL ENSURE ADEQUATE DRAINAGE.

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This old belief doesn’t even make much sense. If there are drainage holes in the pot, obviously any excess water will drain away easily. The drainage layer just takes up space that could have been used for root development. What you can put at the bottom of a flowerpot is a fil­ter of some sort: a piece of paper towel, news­ paper or a coffee filter. That way excess water can flow out while the filter keeps the potting soil in place. In a pot without drainage holes, the drainage layer won’t stop water from build­ ing up and moving up the roots by capillary action, leading to rot that will likely be fatal. It’s simply not a good idea to grow a plant in a pot without a drainage hole.

MYTH #7: COATING TREE WOUNDS WITH PRUNING PAINT OR SEALANT WILL PREVENT ROT.

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You’ll have no trouble finding these products in garden centres, but they aren’t recom­mended. When you apply a sealant to a tree wound, it cuts off the airflow and creates a humid environment where fungi that cause rot can thrive. In other words, pruning paints and sealants don’t prevent rot, they help cause it.

MYTH #8: WATERING PLANTS IN FULL SUN WILL CAUSE THE DROPLETS OF WATER TO CLING TO THE FOLIAGE, ATTRACTING THE SUN'S RAYS AND BURNING THE LEAVES.

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This is the easiest myth to debunk because if water droplets really did set plant leaves alight, there would be fires everywhere after every sun shower! A drop located directly on a leaf will have no damaging effect whatsoever. It’s still not a good idea to water plants when the sun is beating down, but that’s largely because the heat will cause much of the water to evaporate rather than irrigating the plants. Ideally, you want to water early in the morning or, failing that, in the evening, when the sun is less intense.

MYTH #9: APPLYING LIME TO YOUR LAWN WILL ELIMINATE MOSS.

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Common knowledge claims that moss only grows on acidic soils. Lime is alkaline, so it renders soil less acid. In reality, though, moss will grow on any type of soil: acidic, neutral or alkaline. If moss is spreading on your lawn, it doesn’t mean the soil is acidic; rather, it tells you that the conditions are simply not suitable for turfgrasses. There are five likely reasons why moss is taking over your lawn: it’s too shady, the soil is too poor, the soil is poorly drained, the soil is heavily compacted and, the least likely, the soil is highly acidic (its pH is less than 5.5).

MYTH #10: POTS OF LEMON-SCENTED PLANTS, SUCH AS LEMONGRASS, LEMON THYME OR LEMON-SCENTED GERANIUMS WILL KEEP MOSQUITOES AWAY.

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If only it were true! But in fact, plants simply don’t make very good insect repellents. Sure enough, you can rub your skin with a crushed leaf from one of these plants and gain a certain degree of personal protection, but the effect only lasts a short time. Intact leaves have no repellent effect whatsoever, so just placing a so-called “repellent” plant nearby won’t discourage mosquitoes at all...sigh.

 

10 Gardening Myths Busted


5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Second Home with a Family Member

Your kids will have fantastic memories of vacations spent running around outside with their cousins, unplugged from their phones. Meanwhile, you and your siblings can recreate your childhood vacations, only this time with more alcohol and less fighting in the backseat. Sounds like a little slice of paradise, right? Before you jump in, you'll want to get some things straightened out.

How will you pay for it? 

Unless you all have cash, actually paying for the house can be tricky. Will your sibling with the best credit rating and lowest debt to income ratio apply for the mortgage? Or will you be applying for a joint mortgage?

Will you rent it? 

Renting your vacation home when no one’s using it can be a great investment. But if having strangers in his space gives your brother the heebie-jeebies and your sister wants to be able to use the house on a whim, renting might not be the best option. Make sure you talk about all that upfront so no one is blindsided by something they thought everyone agreed with them on. If you do decide to rent it you open up a whole other discussion. Who will be responsible for the landlord duties? How much of the year will you rent it? Will you split the money or will you put it toward upgrades and repairs on the house?

What if someone wants to sell?

You absolutely need to get this one in writing before you finalize anything. Maybe your sister moves to the other side of the country and can’t use the house as much. Or maybe your brother made some bad investments (you told him pet rocks were not making a comeback) and the house is looking like his Get Out of Jail Free card. Make sure you all agree on when, if, and how someone can back out. After all, a forced sale won’t improve your relationship with anyone.

How will you split time?

Sure, you love your siblings. But does that mean you want to commit to spending every single vacation with them? Probably not. Talk about how much time each family will have at the house. Draw names, throw darts, or wrestle for your weekends. It doesn’t matter how you come to an agreement. You just have to agree.

How will you split expenses?

This is your second home. So you know expenses don’t stop with the mortgage. You still have to worry about insurance, utilities, repairs, and a whole heck of a lot more. Will you split everything evenly? Will one sibling have more financial responsibility than the others? Make sure everyone is on the same page with this one and you’ll be able to avoid a lot of squabbles in the future.

Now the only thing that's left to discuss is if you'll buy in the mountains or the beach!


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First Thing’s First

When potential buyers arrive at your home, the first thing they’ll see is your front yard and the exterior of your home. Don’t overthink it, just go stand on the curb and fix the things that look a bit off to you. If your budget permits, have some landscaping done. A little bit of improvement will really go a long way.

Refresh Your Kitchen

It’s no surprise that the kitchen is a huge component of the home, so if you’re thinking about selling, it may be time to do some touch-ups. Replacing dated appliances with stainless steel versions would be extremely expensive, but replacing just one with a steel counterpart actually improves the feel of the whole kitchen. If you see some chipping or scratches on cabinetry, consider applying a coat of neutral paint. The neutral color will work for any buyer, and the cabinetry will looks as good as new.

Tackle The Bathroom

First of all, make sure everything in the bathroom is perfectly functional. That means no dripping faucets, showerheads, etc. Once everything is up to snuff, you can think about what upgrades you’d like to implement. New grout isn’t flashy, but it goes a long way in making a bathroom look cleaner and newer. You can also think about new and improved lighting or new countertops depending on budget.



Pro tips to improve your home’s lighting—without an electrician

Designers share their strategies to buy or DIY your way to a calmer, more flattering lighting scheme


36 Marbled Countertops To Ignite Your Kitchen Revamp

When deciding on your kitchen countertops, you’ll want to think about the material, first and foremost. And today, we’re focusing on marble. It’s luxurious, it’s versatile and can slide into nearly any and every type of decor theme. Black, white, grey and more, these 36 marbled countertops will ignite your kitchen revamp and take it to an entirely new level.

white marble kitchen countertop 900x655 36 Marbled Countertops To Ignite Your Kitchen Revamp

This classic kitchen is filled to the brim with both function and style. It’s topped off by marble countertops that blend well with the cottage-esque cabinets and wooden, brick backsplash. The natural light from the windows plays nicely with it as well! (via)

marble kitchen island 36 Marbled Countertops To Ignite Your Kitchen Revamp

Stone Source featured this beautiful work of art and we did too! Look at this marble-topped and sided kitchen island! It’s such a stunning way to provide function and a focal point.


5 Secrets to Make Your Home Guest-Ready This Season

 

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“Hey, I’m in town. Any chance I could crash at your place tonight?” We’ve all gotten that bittersweet text. It’s the dreaded (but really beloved) last-minute guest! And as we’re gearing up for the busy holiday travel season, it’s more important than ever to prepare to host that friend who’s suddenly in town.

When square footage is at a premium, you have to be smart about the details that make a guest room feel just like home. These five secrets will help you set up a space that’s always guest-ready, even at a moment’s notice. Here’s what to do:
 
 

Stock Up on Entertaining Essentials

Nothing says “welcome” quite like a freshly prepared cheese board and a glass of wine. So if you’ve got a nice cheese serving set and a fancy wine cooler, you’re halfway there.  All you have to do is stop by the grocery store for some nibbles on your way home. 

Create an Instant Guest Room

No guest room? No problem. Make your main space a guest space with an easy pull-out and extra pillows and bedding.

Curated image with Faux Fur Throw, FAUX FUR IVORY HONEYCOMB THROW, FAUX SHEEPSKIN THROWS, FAUX FU...

Add the Perfect Extra Layer

A versatile throw can do wonders when it’s time to have guests over. From giving your space a pulled-together, cozy look to providing extra bedding, it’s the ultimate last-minute guest accessory to have on hand. And why not do it in style? A faux fur throw goes a long way in both style and practicality. Look for faux fur that’s machine washable for easy care and has ombre gradients to give it an extra sheen.  

 

Make a Statement with Accents

Ask yourself about your accents. Are they practical? Or just pretty? A few well-placed accent pieces will make entertaining last-minute guests a whole lot easier. A good bar cart, for instance, can be rolled in or out depending on company (but is also stylish enough to keep around every day). Likewise, quirky pieces like these faux fur footstools can be accents on their own, and easily moved out of the way or used as extra seating when you have friends over.  

Go for an Easy Ambiance

Ever wonder why first-class hotels smell so good? It’s because they know scent is one of the first impressions their guests encounter. Follow the same philosophy at home with diffusers that make your space smell great and look good doing it. Continue the calm with a set of no-fuss flameless candles that spark a sense of serenity for anyone who walks in. 

 

5 Secrets to Make Your Home Guest-Ready This Season

 

“Hey, I’m in town. Any chance I could crash at your place tonight?” We’ve all gotten that bittersweet text. It’s the dreaded (but really beloved) last-minute guest! And as we’re gearing up for the busy holiday travel season, it’s more important than ever to prepare to host that friend who’s suddenly in town.

 

When square footage is at a premium, you have to be smart about the details that make a guest room feel just like home. These five secrets will help you set up a space that’s always guest-ready, even at a moment’s notice. For the essentials you’re missing—like a few multipurpose accents that tie your space together, or mood-setting candles and diffusers—Pottery Barn has what you need to help make it happen. Here’s what to do:

Stock Up on Entertaining Essentials

Nothing says “welcome” quite like a freshly prepared cheese board and a glass of wine. So if you’ve got a nice cheese serving set and a fancy wine cooler, you’re halfway there. Pottery Barn’s Black Marble serveware is decidedly on-trend with dark marble that contrasts nicely with cheeses. All you have to do is stop by the grocery store for some nibbles on your way home. 

 

Create an Instant Guest Room

No guest room? No problem. Make your main space a guest space with an easy pull-out and extra pillows and bedding. Pottery Barn’s Cameron Sleeper Sofa is GREENGUARD Gold Certified (meaning it’s been screened for chemicals that contribute to indoor pollution), is made with eco-friendly materials, and is fully customizable by fabric and color. Don’t forget: a good set of guest sheets is also essential—Pottery Barn’s organic sheet sets start at just $59.

Add the Perfect Extra Layer

A versatile throw can do wonders when it’s time to have guests over. From giving your space a pulled-together, cozy look to providing extra bedding, it’s the ultimate last-minute guest accessory to have on hand. And why not do it in style? A faux fur throw goes a long way in both style and practicality. Look for faux fur that’s machine washable for easy care and has ombre gradients to give it an extra sheen.  

Make a Statement with Accents

Ask yourself about your accents. Are they practical? Or just pretty? A few well-placed accent pieces will make entertaining last-minute guests a whole lot easier. A good bar cart, for instance, can be rolled in or out depending on company (but is also stylish enough to keep around every day). Likewise, quirky pieces like these faux fur footstools can be accents on their own, and easily moved out of the way or used as extra seating when you have friends over.  

Go for an Easy Ambiance

Ever wonder why first-class hotels smell so good? It’s because they know scent is one of the first impressions their guests encounter. Follow the same philosophy at home with diffusers that make your space smell great and look good doing it. Continue the calm with a set of no-fuss flameless candles that spark a sense of serenity for anyone who walks in. 


Home Renovations You Really Shouldn’t Do Yourself

Home renovations are expensive, which is why many homeowners will attempt to tackle them themselves. Nonetheless, we all know that can be a risky situation as well as an expensive one if the renovations are done incorrectly. Although there are renovations that homeowners can do on their own, there are some that should just be left to a professional.

 

In the hands of unskilled professionals, the following renovations could cost you more money than if you decided to speak to a professional from the very beginning. When done incorrectly they can be harmful to your immediate health and even more harmful to your home and its longevity.

Breaking Down Walls

Tearing down walls sounds like an easy task and it essentially is. However, the truth of the matter is walls tend to hide hidden dangers that you may not be prepared for. There is always the possibility that the walls could have mold, lead, dusts and even pests. These can all represent a danger to you and your family’s health.

Upgrading Your Basement

 

If you have a basement you may have considered upgrading it or even doing your own renovations. However, you ultimately want to leave that job to a professional as they know how to handle unfinished basements the best way possible. Basement renovations are different than any other renovation. The reason being cracks need to be sealed, drafts must be stopped, the mold must be removed and windows must be caulked. All of these are required in order for the basement to be in living conditions.

Electrical Work

Electrical work should never be underestimated. There are multiple dangerous situations that can occur when someone who isn’t a professional takes electrical work into their own hands. For example, wiring that is installed the wrong way can cause a fire hazard or multiple different dangerous situations.

Tile Work

Tile work may seem relatively easy to do and even cheap to buy. However, there is a lot of tedious work that goes behind installing every tile from measuring, cutting, and installing. This tedious work is best left to a professional if you want the work don’t properly.

Changing Windows

Changing your windows needs to be meticulous as it requires knowledge on how to keep the insolation of your home intact.

Changing the windows in your home is one of the last things you want to do on your own. The windows of your home keep drafts out as well as making your living space energy efficient. When installed incorrectly the windows in your home are prone to major problems. Problems such as built up condensation which could lead to added moisture to your home.

Replacing or Installing Carpet

As with tiles replacing or installing carpet may seem like an easy task, but it is actually quite difficult. As they require numerous different measurements in order to be placed properly. Along with these measurements there are multiple different steps that are required for the perfect carpet installation. These steps are needed in order to prevent mold and air bubbles from forming underneath.

Changing Your Cabinetry

Not only is alinement important when it comes to cabinet installation but using the right tools is as well.

Gas Line Repair

Gas line installation can be quite dangerous if not done correctly.

Trimming or Removal of Trees

Every tree should be removed safely and securely.

Tree trimming and/or removal should not be done by a non-professional. Tree removal requires using power tools and considerable height. These tools may not be available to the average homeowner. For this reason having a professional with all the proper tools will make the job easy and effective.

Plumbing Repairs

Save yourself some money and call a professional from the very first problem.

There are plenty of situations when fixing a plumbing problem on your own can be done. However, for any major plumbing repairs, you should contact a professional. As they will know the best form of fixing the problem wit little to no issues. Therefore, saving you more money and headaches in the long run.

 

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