The Truth about Garden Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't and Why

The Truth about Garden Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't and Why

by Jeff Gillman
     
 

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Can beer make plants grow? How about buttermilk? Or music—classical or rock? Are you sure about planting trees in deep holes? And how about chasing insects with hot sauce and stopping slugs with eggshells?

Whether in ancient books, on television, or in gardening publications, remedies for all your garden woes are here for the taking: the challenge is

Overview


Can beer make plants grow? How about buttermilk? Or music—classical or rock? Are you sure about planting trees in deep holes? And how about chasing insects with hot sauce and stopping slugs with eggshells?

Whether in ancient books, on television, or in gardening publications, remedies for all your garden woes are here for the taking: the challenge is to know what will work and what won't.

Fearlessly conducting original experiments and harvesting wisdom from the scientific literature, horticulturalist Jeff Gillman assesses new and historic advice and reveals the how and why‚ and sometimes the why not‚ for more than 100 common and uncommon gardening practices. The results will surprise even experienced gardeners.

Editorial Reviews

Tri-City Herald
“Wondering how best to keep your garden healthy? Let Jeff Gillman … do the research, so you don’t waste time and money trying to add nutrients to the soil, keeping slugs and deer away, or protecting your roses from powdery mildew and black spot.”

Redding Record Searchlight
"Gillman’s goal is to get gardeners to think—to make sure there is a reason behind everything they do for their plants."

Buffalo Spree

"[A] book that shoots down many fabled solutions that are really a waste of time."

From the Publisher

“Wondering how best to keep your garden healthy? Let Jeff Gillman … do the research, so you don’t waste time and money trying to add nutrients to the soil, keeping slugs and deer away, or protecting your roses from powdery mildew and black spot.”

"Gillman's goal is to get gardeners to think—to make sure there is a reason behind everything they do for their plants."

"Gillman’s goal is to get gardeners to think—to make sure there is a reason behind everything they do for their plants."

Chicago Tribune
"While entertainingly relating his experiments and his research, Gillman also packs in a wealth of useful information."

Horticulture
"Whenever I hear someone offer a solution to a garden problem, I immediately check [The Truth About Garden Remedies] to see if it will work."

American Gardener

“Both these books [The Truth About Organic Gardening and The Truth About Garden Remedies] are refreshing, lucid and enlightening. Their spare style, with no illustrations, and concentration on facts rather than ‘inspiration’ even gives them an old-fashioned charm.”

Garden Compass
"[A] book that shoots down many fabled solutions that are really a waste of time."

BBC Gardens Illustrated
“Both these books [The Truth About Organic Gardening and The Truth About Garden Remedies] are refreshing, lucid and enlightening. Their spare style, with no illustrations, and concentration on facts rather than ‘inspiration’ even gives them an old-fashioned charm.”

Buffalo Spree - Elizabeth Licata
"This is a must-have book for both its information on home remedies and its survey of commercial remedies. Clearly, we need fewer gurus and more people like Gillman."
Newark Star-Ledger

"This is a must-have book for both its information on home remedies and its survey of commercial remedies. Clearly, we need fewer gurus and more people like Gillman."
Publishers Weekly
With graduate degrees in entomology and horticulture, Gillman brings scientific rigor to the topic of commercial, homemade and "traditional" garden remedies. Eschewing the received knowledge of "garden gurus"-albeit admitting that he is one-he exhorts readers to "[s]earch for the why behind everything you do for your plants." His concise review of factors affecting plant growth and development provides the backdrop for chapters that evaluate fertilizers, soil and media amendments, water, biostimulants, pesticides, protectants and other remedies. Within each category, Gillman describes the practice, explains the theory behind it, reveals the truth and describes what all that means to the home gardener. His findings about methods involving such materials as buttermilk, coffee grounds, humic acid, hellebore, silicon and salt are based on scientific literature, which is cited throughout, as well as many original experiments. Never didactic or preachy, Gillman takes pleasure in testing techniques for treating plants and urges readers to "[d]ivide off a section of plants in your garden just for experimenting and have fun with them." Gillman teaches gardeners to think about what they do, know why they're doing it and observe the results, trusting their knowledge and experience over claims made by companies, "experts" or garden folklorists. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Can you use beer to trap slugs? Is watering with vinegar a good way to increase the acidity of soil? Will spraying insects with tobacco kill them, or you? Gillman (horticultural science, Univ. of Minnesota) examines these and other folk remedies that have been used in gardening for years, sometimes centuries. He briefly introduces each procedure and the theory behind it according to popular literature or catalogs selling alternative products. Then, using scientific analysis and published research from reputable journals, he investigates the real story behind the remedy to detail its viability. Finally, he analyzes whether the remedy is beneficial and whether it achieves the claims of the companies or gardening gurus who recommend it. Gillman meets his goal of helping gardeners get a better understanding of the science behind the practices and does so in an entertaining and engaging style. His analysis is always helpful and sometimes even surprising. Recommended for all gardening collections.-Daniel Starr, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881927481
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Pages:
212
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The Truth About Garden Remedies showed me what and how remedies work (or don't) and why. I was interested to learn about potentially hazardous 'quick fixes' and, as always, to have nonsensical myths busted. If I so keep any of my harmless homemade concoctions around, I know now that I'll probably be doing it for their placebo effect—on me."
—Ken Druse, author of The Natural Habitat Garden and The Collector's Garden

Meet the Author


Jeff Gillman is an associate professor in the department of horticultural science at the University of Minnesota, where he researches plant production and teaches courses on nursery management and pesticide use. He earned his doctorate in horticulture and a master's degree in entomology from the University of Georgia.

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