The Science Behind Strange Gardening Hacks

It’s always fun to consider strange gardening hacks and how science explains them. For example, is it true that some species of flora can’t stand to be touched? Or blood or more precisely, blood meal is good for plants? Why does copper refresh plants?

Sensitive To Touch

Some plant species including gardenias are sensitive to touch. Believe it or not, a simple poke or the splashing of water can actually bruise the petals of this plant.

Once upon a time, a team of ecologists were collecting measurements of plants and they were becoming concerned because suddenly they started to die. They pondered the situation and soon thought that the fact that they were touching the plants may have been causing the problem. To test this gardening hack, the researchers designed an experiment in which they systematically stroked different varieties of weeds to simulate the handling of plants during the collection of data. One variety of stroked weeds seemed to become more receptive to insect attacks than another control group of weeds. Moreover, another variety of weed that was touched became more resistant to bugs than the control weeds. The researchers concluded that poking and prodding plants could cause them to release chemicals that attract or repel pests.

Blood Meal And Plants

Researchers have discovered that spreading blood meal in a garden can keep pests away including deer and rabbits because it doesn’t smell very good. In addition, blood has protein making it a great fertilizer. Bacteria in the soil break down the protein into ammonia that plants absorb through their roots and serves as a source of nitrogen.

“Watering” Your Plants

One must offer an excuse for a term when discussing gardening hacks, but peeing on your garden can actually benefit plants. Bacteria in the soil break down the nitrogen in the urine and convert it into ammonia, which the plants absorb. One study found that treating tomato plants with a mixture of human urine quadrupled the plants’ fruit production. In addition, human urine as a fertilizer actually made the tomatoes taste different than tomatoes grown with conventional fertilizer.

Pennies Refresh Cut Flowers

Researchers have discovered that a lot of things can assist cut flowers to remain fresh. These items (or gardening hacks) include aspirin, vodka, and bleach. They kill bacteria or fungus that may invade newly severed stems. A penny placed in a vase can do the same. The copper of the penny attacks essential enzymes the fungus needs. Actually, copper upsets many enzymes making it a fungicide. And the fact that copper attacks many types of enzymes makes it more difficult for a fungus to become resistant to it.

Prune Cautiously

Researchers have discovered that the main or top bud of a plant normally releases hormones that inhibit the growth of side buds. The top bud does this to stop any competition the side buds give it in getting much needed resources. When the top bud is chopped off as in pruning, the side buds are free to grow.


About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.