has an article about testing some of the anecdotal recommendations for
I haven't tried any of these myself, so can't give an opinion.
But I respect a source that actually TESTS some of the anecdotal "folk
wisdom" that we constantly see/hear advocated for garden problems.
The work by Chalker-Scott has been mentioned here several times and I am yet
to see any serious attempt to contradict it, it all seems pretty solid to
me. More of her work is published in other places including IIRC some cases
where the traditional remedy is shown to be actually effective. I agree
with your comment about the need to test anecdotes more rigorously.
Gardening myths are like rumours - people often accept them as being true
because so many people accept them as being true.
One contributing reason for myth creation in gardening is that there are so
many factors that together make a healthy plant it is very difficult to
tease out whether the particular treatment you are using is the one actually
responsible for the result you are getting.
Consider this real example which isn't about a gardening myth specifically
but about how such things get started. At a meeting of a local growers
society we were inspecting a nice mandala garden that included strawberries.
The owner remarked that she was quite happy with the placement of the plot
except that (despite being near the house) she had found red-belied black
snakes near the strawberries a couple of times, with small children she was
concerned. A spectator piped up "that is because they eat strawberries" and
went on to explain how she had found such snakes in her strawberry patch.
Now these snakes are not vegans, they live on small mammals and reptiles. I
said that I could see two other possible reasons for snakes liking
strawberry patches; one they are in the sun and two snakes are passing fond
of mice who love strawberries. This is why you get snakes around chook
houses, the snakes don't like chook food they like rodents who like chook
food. The budding scientist who thought they ate strawberries did not want
to let go of this idea. Thus old wives' tales get started.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.