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Book Review: The Truth about Garden Remedies. What Works, what doesn't and Why by Jeff Gillman

By Angela Youngman Oct 23, 2006, 1:51 GMT

Book Review: The Truth about Garden Remedies. What Works, what doesn't and Why by Jeff Gillman

Can beer make plants grow? And how about stopping slugs with eggshells? This fearless book assesses new and historic advice and reveals the how and why?and sometimes the why not?for many common and uncommon gardening practices. The results will surprise even experienced gardeners. ...more

What music makes plants grow faster - classical or rock? Do insects really appreciate being chased with hot sauce or can slugs be stopped with egg shells? Will vingegar act as a good herbicide? Jeff Gillman sets out to investigate what truth lies behind some of these old remedies. In each case, both the practice and the theory is studied, followed by the scientific evidence.

At times the scientific evidence can be a little mind-blowing, as it is very detailed. The book as a whole does make fascinating reading for any keen gardener. Believe it or not, people once advocated using a fermented mix of pigeon dung and human urine as a way of dealing with mildew while others have suggested spraying a mix of water and ammonia on your lawn as a fertilizer!

As to what music plants preferred - Acid rock apparently hurt plants, while they responded best to easy listening! Plants treated to diet of acid rock needed much more watering than those not exposed to the music. The reason is that acid rock music caused water to ripple and evaporated faster.

A good read, full of unusual information making it an ideal present for a keen gardener. It needs to be read in small doses, but it is fascinating.

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