Last week we indulged our neurosis and examined potential ways our gardens could kill us
. This week we’ll crank up the crazy to 11 and look at successful strategies for returning the favor. Not that you’d ever do it, right? It’s just research...
The number one cause of potted plant death, excessive watering is a great way to kill your garden because its symptoms
, namely wilting/yellowing of leaves and stems, could easily be confused with under-watering. Built-in defense.
2.) Parch it.
Summer often brings drought-like conditions -- no one would blame you if your plants succumbed to the natural lack of water. Perhaps your soil is a little too well-drained? But be forewarned, this is a drawn out death.
3.) Introduce slugs.
Sometimes you’ve got to get primordial. Slugs will eat almost anything in your garden, come out at night and reproduce in a frightening way. As the Oregon State University website
put it, they are “basically a stomach on one large foot.” Sounds like a slimy super villain.
4.) Plant under a black walnut tree.
Black walnut trees contain jugalone
, a chemical that is allelopathic (a phenomenon where a chemical harms or otherwise influences other species in the area). Look the other way as your plants struggle to get proper nutrients. If your garden seems resistant to discreet poisoning, chuck walnuts in its general direction.
5.) Ignore powdery mildew.
Though rarely fatal to plants on its own, this fungi will block photosynthesis if left unattended, weakening the plant. Add fertilizer after an infection -- your efforts will be seen as proactive when really you’re giving the mildew young plants to prey upon. Succulent tissue, yum! Sicko.