Linda Chalker-Scott presented an energized, informative seminar addressing How to recognize and dispatch garden Myths for the January speaker series. Here are a few highlights and takaways:

Sources of information should always be taken into account. Scientific (peer reviewed, academic audience) , Gray (not peer reviewed, professional audience) or Popular (not peer reviewed, general audience).

Evaluating Information using the CRAP test! Credibility of the source, Relevance to managed landscapes, Accuracy & Purpose

Anecdotes can’t be trusted but they do give us things to study!

Products and practices that are NOT supported with sufficient, reliable, scientific evidence should NOT be used or recommended. For example:

  • Products: Compost tea, Conditioners, Kelp products, Organic product safety, Vitamin B1 transplant fertilizer and Wound dressings

  • Practices: Biodynamics, Companion planting, Fertilizer injections, Lasagna mulching, Leaving root balls intact, Permaculture

Misapplied Science & Over-extrapolated Science can also create the spread of garden myths.

Using a woody mulch layer in the garden is beneficial and recommended for many reasons.

Linda’s website- The Informed Gardener contains an extensive selection downloadable pdfs about a variety of relevant gardening myths.

Looking for the newest up-to-date myth-information? Check out the Garden Professors Blog . You’ll find science-based information from four horticultural professors from around the country.

Head over to Facebook and join over 22k other gardeners in the Garden Professors Blog Group.

Linda reminded us that “Correlation does not mean causation”! Here’s an interesting website that reinforces this important message.

Thanks for another great speaker series Linda!

Thanks for another great speaker series Linda!

Linda Chalker-Scott is currently Extension Urban Horticulturist at Puyallup Research and Extension center of Washington State University (WSU).  She also teaches at the University of Washington.  She can be reached at

The 3rd edition of the excellent resource, Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest will be published in April, 2019. Linda co-wrote this most recent edition.

Ever heard of the Great Courses online classes? The course titled “The Science of Gardening” is Linda’s, check it out here.