Fact-checking 5 gardening myths.
Gardening has been around for thousands of years. And just like any old and timeless practice, it comes with its fair share of unscientific information and supersitions. In 2021, we have the knowledge and means to run our own “snopes” on some common gardening myths which have been around for a while (and we still regularly hear about). We’ll take them 5 at a time: Here’s part 1 of our Green Debunking.
Is it dangerous to expose plant roots to light?
Try this experiment: place a little plant in a transparent container, and the same type of plant in a opaque container. The results, in terms of root development, won’t differ much. It’s not light, it’s air and sunlight heath which can cause drying and damage.
However, keeping is the roots in the dark is better because algae grow due to light and will be stealing oxygen and nutrients from the plant.
Can moth balls be used as rooting agents? Do moth balls contain a rooting hormone?
The chemical name for moth balls is naphthalene. This is probably confused with naphthalene acetic acid and Indole butyric acid which are plant auxins of hormones, and are used for rooting your plants cuttings. But they are entirely different compounds chemically speaking.
Is it dangerous to be near plants at night?
During daytime, with sunlight plants take up carbon monoxide and release oxygen (photosynthesis), but at night, the reverse happens – they take in oxygen and release carbon monoxide. Hence the air near trees will have lesser concentration of Oxygen and higher concentration of C02.
However, this impact is negligible for small plants and home gardens, and only noteworthy around thick vegetation.
Apparently, the common knowledege that you shouldn’t keep plants in your bedroom is somewhat false as well: the amount of oxygen that the plant intakes and the Co2 it releases is so small that it’s almost insignificant on human beings. Clearly, we wouldn’t advice sleeping in an enclosed space with several plants anyway. If you can avoid it.
Animal or human urine can be used as fertilizer.
You may giggle a little, but cow urine contains lots of NPK (nitrogen), phosphorus and potassium (ratio 10:1:4) which are the most essential plant nutrients in agriculture. But it’s important to note that urine itself isn’t beneficial as is: it has to be applied diluted in water with a 1:20 ratio.
Does that mean that your pets urine will benefit your plants and grass? Absolutely not. Not all urine is made equal. Dog or cat urine are high in acids and their nitrogen component is very high, so it will result in browning of leaves or grass blades.
Is gardening on terrace bad for the building?
Not true, unless your building is too old with poor construction. If wisely planned – like placing the heavy containers along the walls, which are weight bearing – will not be a problem. Also, if you grow in containers, you can just check if the water draining out of the pots is easily flowing and not stagnant.
…These were our first 5 gardening myths: stay tuned for more to come!