Take a look at these 10 surprising things you probably didn’t know and learn these tips to improve your garden!
1. A sunflower is not just one flower.
The brown center and the yellow petals are in fact 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers which are held together on a single stalk. Amazing, right?
2. There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth.
Microbes are very important in order to keep your soil high in nutrients.
3. Plants really do respond to sound.
Talking to plants might sound strange to you, but several studies have shown that vibration (music, or the sound of your voice) can actually affect the plant’s growth.
4. Butterflies might be more attracted to your weeds than your flowers.
These insects love coming to your garden not only because your blooms are colorful, but because they are fragrant and full of nectar. New cultivars of popular flowers have been bred for enhanced color and size, however, have lost their fragrance in the process, according to the Smithsonian Institute. Weeds like dandelions and clovers, might be most appealing in your yard to butterflies. You can use heirloom flower seeds and make them fly away.
5. A little baking soda can help you grow sweeter tomatoes.
If you regularly sparkle baking soda into your plant’s soil, you will reduce acidity and this will sweeten up your crop.
6. Some of your favorite fruits are actually in the rose family.
Fruits like apples, pears, peaches, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. are rosaceae, making them cousins to the long-stemmed Valentine’s day variety.
7. The right orchid combination can smell like your favorite dessert.
Vanilla bean comes from an orchid varietal, did you know this? There is another oncidum hybrid that smells like chocolate and it is called Sharry Baby. There are many more flavors, and just like you can combine jelly belly beans to make new flavors, you can combine orchids and create a garden that smells like a dessert buffet!
8. You can change a hydrangea’s color by altering the pH level of the soil.
The more alkaline the soil, the pinker the blooms will be. And if there is more acidity, the blooms will be blue. Add more organic matter to your soil (eggshells and coffee grounds) in order to coax your plant to the blue side. The change won’t happen overnight, but it will eventually manipulate your soil’s pH.
9. Deer can jump eight feet high.
A small fence isn’t always enough to keep these garden nibblers away. You can try with a taller one, and plant thorny or pungent plants as a natural barrier, or place lights and wind chimes to scare them.
10. You don’t need to be a dedicated composter to reap similar benefits.
Add used coffee grounds, eggshells, banana peels, and other organic matter directly into your soil and you will offer the needed nutrients to your soil as these decompose. For beds that are already growing, scatter and bury the items withing the first couple of inches of the soil.