September 06, 2006

Gardening myth: dangerous raindrops

Raindrops on leafMyth: Don't water during the day, because water droplets on the leaves will focus the sun's rays and burn holes in the leaves.

This one was in the newspaper again last weekend. In print. In the gardening column. *sigh*

OK, let's stop and think a minute. How many of you found holes or burn marks spread over your entire garden last time the sun came out after a summer shower? Lift your hands. ... I thought so. By that logic, virtually every gardener who ever lived should have experienced massive burning at some time or another.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I use magnifying glasses to burn holes in paper, I have to hold the magnifying glass some distance above the paper to get the focus right. Putting the magnifying glass directly on the paper just doesn't work. So, when was the last time you saw water drops suspended in the air above your leaves?

Lesson: just because somebody says it, doesn't necessarily mean it's so.

On the other hand, it's true that it's not a great idea to water in the middle of the day, especially with sprinklers, because evaporation rates will be way up and you'll waste a lot of water. But your leaves will be just fine.

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1 comment:

Hanna in Cleveland said...

This is one that has always bugged me. As you pointed out, common sense would tell you this isn't true, the whole burning holes thing.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a 'Myth Busters' the gardening version so that people could see stuff like this is just not true. :)