January 21, 2015 | Featured Instructor

The use of passed down pearls of wisdom and urban garden myths to improve plants and landscapes is as common as homemade cold and flu recipes. Has someone in your garden circle suggested some fool-proof miracle cure, product or technique to fix what’s ailing your plant or make it grow better? 

We’ve heard methods like using a high middle number fertilizer to grow bigger flowers or bloom more often, or high nitrogen to produce stronger roots or greener foliage. How about mulches, do evergreen needles acidify surrounding soils? Marigolds are supposed to repel certain soil pests in the vegetable garden. What are the actual scientific facts about companion planting? And what’s a gardener to do with all this advice from so-called experts or disguised “snake-oil” claims on websites?

Believe it or not some of the age-old remedies actually work and research backs them up. Other areas simply haven’t been studied, so the advice is debatable. The take-home advice is that there is good, solid garden information out there and some that is just plain wrong. If you’re like me, you like hearing about these myths as well as the  "why" and "how" they came about. But most importantly, you want to know the facts, where to find them and the best ways to grow a healthy and attractive garden. All these questions and more will be answered in my upcoming class, Garden Myths and Secrets, at the Gardens! So I’ll see you in class and let you know if adding eggshells around tomato plants actually prevents blossom end rot.

Have we teased you enough to feel you need to know the answer to these questions? Join instructor Betty Cahill (Denver Post's Punch List writer) for Garden Myths and Secrets class on Thursday, February 5 from 6-7:30 pm. Go home with some of Betty’s tried and true tips (aka secrets) for a year round healthy and happy landscape and vegetable garden. Register online or call 720-865-3580 to register.

Betty has been gardening in Denver for several years. Growing up and gardening in Montana has equipped her for the many challenges gardeners face in Colorado. Growing garlic, basil, herbs and vegetables are Betty’s favorites. Many friends and family are lucky recipients of Betty’s large harvest of basil and garlic each summer. She is a member of the Denver Rose Society, Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Herb Society and the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. She’s been teaching and volunteering at Denver Botanic Gardens for several years. Read her blog here.


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