Whether you’re a gardening wizard or are just starting out with a spade and trowel, there’s probably plenty of things you didn’t know about gardening. Here are six fun facts to plump out your gardening knowledge:
- Sunflowers can grow to 30ft tall…
…but you might need some scaffolding to support them. The tallest sunflower on record reached 9.17m high – so around 30ft – and was recorded by the Guinness World Records back in 2014. The grower (Hans-Peter Schiffer based in Germany) has broken the record twice previously and is an expert when it comes to producing mammoth sized plants.
Bonus fact: A sunflower isn’t actually a flower at all, the brown centre and yellow petals are actually around 2,000 flowers all grouped together on a single stalk!
- Mixing certain plants together can create distinctive scents
Orchids are renowned for their strong scent but did you know if you mix certain types together you can create the smell of your favourite dessert? The Sharry Baby orchid produces a smell like chocolate while the Golden Elf smells like cinnamon, plus vanilla comes from an orchid plant, so mixing up varieties of the plant can make your garden smell like a dessert cart!
You could also try to do something similar with pansies or miniature roses, perhaps using easy fill hanging baskets to create stunning looking and smelling displays.
- Your hair can help deter slugs
Don’t throw away the hair you pull from your hairbrush, instead use it to create a barrier that can be placed around plants you want to deter slugs from. The abrasive feeling stops them from climbing over the hair and onto the plant and the hair itself is also a great source of nitrogen for the soil as it decomposes.
- Cooking water is great for plants
Another thing to avoid throwing away is your cooking water. The water you use to cook your pasta, potatoes and rice in is full of nutrients after cooking that will do your garden a whole world of good, so save it water and use it to give your plants a boost once it’s cool. It’s also a great way of recycling!
- Gardening is a great way of burning calories
Ever woken up the next day after a full afternoon of gardening and experienced aching muscles? Well that’s because gardening is actually a fantastic form of exercise and way of burning calories. Pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn between 200-400 calories an hour while mowing the lawn uses up 250-350 calories per hour! If you’re watching your weight you’ll definitely be heading outdoors at the weekend now!
- Plants like a cuppa too
Chamomile tea is apparently fantastic to water plants with, as the tea contains natural anti-fungal properties which can prevent diseases. You can simply whip up a batch of tea, let it cool and then spritz it onto plants or pour it directly into the soil when its looking dry. If you have seeds that need planting it might also be worth soaking them in chamomile tea to make them hardy against fungal diseases.