A horticultural hack – what used to be called a “useful tip” before the internet took over – did the rounds again recently, on social media. Surely you’ve heard this one before: dousing plants with water from a can that’s had an old nail or pan scourer soaking in it can magically transform drooping foliage, especially for plants in ericaceous soil, by delivering a nourishing shot of iron.
Even to my inexperienced ears, “A Rusty Nail in the Watering Can” sounds more like an episode of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads than useful gardening advice, and Gardeners’ Question Time regular Pippa Greenwood confirms my suspicions.
“It’ll just make your soil go red. I don’t think rusty rainwater will do a...
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