6 Popular gardening tricks that DO NOT work

In this article - the whole truth about herbicides from detergent, rooting roses in potatoes and other popular summer know-how, which in fact turn out to be not so effective.

How often on the Internet you can find unusual tips, lifehacks and recommendations that, according to the authors, can simplify and radically change your dacha life. The British edition of The Guardian made a selection of the most popular garden myths and asked the experts to comment on them. Here are the conclusions they came to.

1. Root roses in a potato

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Cut the cuttings of roses about 10-15 cm in length so that 3-4 buds remain on each branch. Remove the bottom pair of leaves and halve all the rest. Cut a potato in half, make a hole in it and insert a rose into it. Such a “substrate” will protect the cutting from drying out and stimulate the formation of roots.

rooting roses in potatoes


On the Internet, you can find many master classes that prove the effectiveness of this method, therefore, categorically refute it is difficult. However,Michael Marriott, David Austin Roses Associate, a large British nursery that breeds roses, asks a reasonable question:"So why insert cuttings into potatoes if you can bury them straight in the ground?"

Breeder Robby Morton from England, which boasts a 25-year experience in growing roses, also expresses doubts about this lifhak. The basis of this method of rooting is the correct principle - the cuttings must always be in a wet environment. But the potato is unlikely to be something significantly different from the usual substrate.


Roseby Morton advises the time-tested method of cutting roses. The cutting is cut to a length of 30 cm, making the lower section straight across the leaf node. Next, the branches are buried in the ground at 12-15 cm at an angle of 45 degrees. The soil should be constantly wet, but not wet. A few months later the roots should be formed on the cuttings.

2. Change the color of the hydrangea with nails

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To change the color of the inflorescences of large-leaved hydrangea from pink to blue, bury rusty nails in the stem of the shrub. This will increase the acidity of the soil and fill it with iron deficiency. It is in such conditions that the hydrangea begins to turn blue.

hydrangea color


Guy Barter, chief consultant of the Royal Horticultural Society(United Kingdom) authoritatively declares: this life hacking does not work! Virtually any soil by default contains large amounts of iron, but the problem is that the plants are not able to assimilate it.

Nails in alkaline soil “give up” iron very soon and in a meager amount. Considering that iron in this kind of plant will not be able to extract from the soil anyway, such a floriculture council can be safely called a waste of time.

The blue color of hydrangeas gives not iron, but aluminum.


The easiest (and, most importantly, effective!) Way to change the color of hydrangeas is to introduce aluminum-containing substances into the soil, such as aluminum sulfate or aluminum-ammonium sulfate. Within 10 days it is necessary to water the shrub with a 0.3% solution of the substance.

Iron deficiency is indicated by yellow streaks on hydrangea petals. The situation can be remedied with the help of chelated iron, which is well absorbed by plants. As a rule, this substance is sold in the form of liquid fertilizers.

3. Get rid of weeds using a dishwashing detergent

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Add a small amount of dishwashing detergent and magnesium sulfate to the vinegar and bring to a boil. This broth can be used as a safe herbicide.

dishwashing detergent


Linda Choker-Scott, Assistant Professor, Department of Agriculture, Washington State Universityin the United States, categorically denies the view that this home remedy for weed control is environmentally friendly. Her argument is very convincing: just look at the label of dishwashing liquid to understand that its composition is far from being called natural.

The "explosive mixture" of magnesium sulphate, vinegar and washing liquid eats away the protective layer of plants and destroys helper microorganisms. Such a method of weed control can hardly be called nature-friendly.

Our help!On the territory of the European Union, there is a law prohibiting the use of homemade herbicides.


The easiest way to get rid of unwanted guests from the beds is to buy a ready-made herbicide.

If you adhere to the principles of organic farming and do not accept "chemistry" on your site, it is difficult to come up with something more effective than the good old ways - mulching and weeding.

To remove the weeds that grow in the joints of the garden paths, you can use a more radical method.British organization "Garden Organic"which promotes organic farming, recommends discarding them with paraffin. To do this, you need to dip a rag into the melted paraffin wax, lay it on the weeds and set it on fire.

Important!It should be done very carefully and only if there are no flammable objects, household buildings, and outside weather is windless.

4. "Enlarge" the area of ​​the garden with the help of mirrors

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Place the mirrors around the perimeter of the garden (on the fence, the walls of the house, etc.) to make it seem bigger. The visual illusion will give the impression that your front garden is twice as big as it actually is.

garden mirrors


In theory, this life hack works.But in practice, if you place the mirrors wrong, the result may not please you. First, birds can crash into mirrors on the fly. Secondly, you can blind solar bunnies. Well, or in the mirror will reflect some unsightly corner of the garden - for example, a compost heap.

Yes, mirrors can bring a ray of light to shady front gardens, says Londonlandscape designer Kate Gould, but to achieve such an effect is not easy. Mirrors should not only be well positioned, but also shine clean. Hello, spots - goodbye, optical illusion. Just imagine how much power you take to maintain the perfect purity of each mirror.


If you still really want to use this life hacking on your site, you can go for a little trick - instead of mirrors use a polished steel plate. Caring for it is much easier, it is noticeable to the birds, and the sunlight reflects no worse than mirrors.

But it is better to reject this idea altogether and try to create another optical illusion in the flower garden. No matter how strange it may sound, but disproportionately large details of the design (for example,huge flower pots in half human growth or garden path of exorbitantly large plates) visually expand the space of a small garden.

5. Arrange hanging garden greenery in the kitchen

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Sow the greens in glass jars, after pouring a layer of drainage to the bottom, and hang them in the kitchen. So you will have fresh herbs and salad to the table all year round.

growing greens in the kitchen


Such a vertical bed will look beautiful, but very short. It's no secret that different plants require different modes of lighting and watering. In small banks, they will soon become cramped, and dry indoor air will lead to rapid drying of the soil. To care for such a grass garden will not be as easy as it might seem at first glance.


Grow unpretentious herbs on the windowsill: green onions, mint and parsley. They will endure the winter well with sufficient light and good moisture. But “brandish” on basil, rosemary and other naughty herbs is not worth it.

6. Use egg shells for growing seedlings

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Do not throw away the eggshells - it can serve as a container for growing seedlings. Before filling the shells with primer,use a nail in the bottom of the drain hole. When the seedlings reach the desired size, they can be planted in the ground right in the shell. You just need to crush her a little.

seedlings in shell


We agree, it looks very nice, but one can hardly call the egg shells the most convenient replacement for standard pots and cassettes. In such a fragile and unreliable capacity is difficult to grow healthy seedlings.

Besides, we all know what the smell of rotten eggs is. It is this “amber" that will soar in your house if you do not thoroughly wash and dry the shell before sowing.