Gardening Lies You’ve Been Told

I recently pruned my cherry and peach trees. Yep, I did a soft pruning in October. One of the biggest lies is that you can only prune your trees in dormancy.

That’s like saying you can only trim your fingernails while you sleep.

Here’s the thing about pruning- if you had a broken bone, you wouldn’t wait around to have it set. You’d go to the hospital and have it addressed because waiting would cause bigger problems down the road. The same is true of pruning trees. Where do you think the saying, “nip it in the bud” came from? Solve the problem before it becomes a catastrophe.

The best way to get trees to produce is to prune them. You cut the tree, it makes fruit. It’s that simple.

I had some crazy branches that were sapping the tree’s energy and resources. So I got rid of them! And the trees are looking fantastic!

Also, always prune from the inside out. Going from the outside in makes for a “disorganized” looking tree and often times leads to awkward, unnecessary cuts. Pruning from the inside out quickly opens up space for air circulation and light. There’s a Japanese saying that your trees should be pruned in such a way that a cat could be thrown through the branches without hitting any of them. I don’t plan on flinging any cats through my trees’ branches, but the principle is true- they have room to breathe and set fruit this spring.

One of the biggest mistakes people make (and it’s a spiritual issue as well) is letting problems go unaddressed instead of fixing the issue at the start. Prevention is the best medicine and avoiding problems is better than having to solve them later.

So I have some cherry cuttings I planted, and I won’t know for sure if they’ll succeed until spring. But I’m hopeful.

Cherry cutting

Another lie you’ve likely been told is that you have to till the soil and dig or till in your compost. If what you’re being told has no representation in nature, you’re being lied to.

We have never tilled our soil, only layered things on. We planted half a row (8 plants) of luffa gourds. And look at them now!

They have taken over the entire 15×40′ terrace bed, and have moved into the surrounding ones. And they’re still flowering! I planted these things in May or June (I don’t recall exactly) and they’re still producing in October! I still have bees flying around pollinating them! I’m ready to clear out the beds for the fall, but there’s still such an abundance, I can’t bring myself to pull them up! And my peppers are still flowering and fruiting!!

When the soil is richly fed (by covering, and adding natural material to compost like leaves and grass) plants have what they need to survive. When you till the ground, it’s like ripping the skin off the earth. How would you feel if someone ripped your skin off and then asked you to be productive? The soil is made up of living organizms. Tilling the soil disturbs that life and in many instances destroys it. Cover it. And leave it alone. And nature takes care of the preparation.

pH balancing is also a lie. When you have mineral and nutrient rich soil, the plants are able to choose what they need. For example I have forsythia (alkaline loving) growing beside daffodils (acid loving) with no issues! When everything is present, the plants can choose what they need.

I guarantee you, if you’re busting your hindparts to get a garden to be productive, you’re spinning your wheels. The Bible says that Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30) If your yoke is not easy, and your burden is not light, you’re likely fighting or in opposition to God.

So pray about it. Let the Creator and Master Gardener lead you, Because He is the way, the truth and the life. (Jn 14:6) And gardening becomes a joy.

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