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Ed Hume Answers Your Gardening Questions

Ed Hume cannot answer all of the garden questions he receives, but questions of general interest will be answered here every month.  Email your questions to HumeSeeds@aol.com.  Please note: we do not accept attachments.

Before submitting a question, be sure to check the index of previous questions and answers or search our site using key words.  Many questions have already been answered here on the site.

Other April Links

Pruning Rock Daphne

. I wondered if you might be able to tell me if I can severely prune back a large rock daphne which has become barren in the middle, a space of about 10 inches in diameter?

The best time to prune a Daphne is after it finishes flowering. If possible, keep your pruning cuts within the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the tip growth. If you prune it more severely, it is difficult for the plant to recover.

Gardening Calendar

I want to put together a calendar (by month or season) that tells me what to do for the various plants in my garden. I have your book. Do you know of any other resources, written for the northwest, that would help me in this project?

Marianne Binetti just came out with a book titled 'Month to Month Gardening in the Pacific Northwest'. You can also get some ideas from my Moon Sign Almanac and my online calendar. You'll find it in our seed racks at stores throughout the northwest.

Supporting Jade Transplants

I read your response to a question of when to tranplant a jade, but my question involves support for the newly transplanted jade. I had several "babies" in medium size pot for nearly 5 years. They're now each 18" tall or so and I divided them into 2 medium size pots. Two of the stems cannot support themselves at all now and their roots were surprisingly shallow (although I don't believe I ever overwater, as such would indicate I understand - does anything else cause shallow rooting?) How do I help this plant? Is staking acceptable, and if so, what is the best method to not hurt the jade?

Yes, the plants can certainly be staked. Stake the center stalk. You can use a bamboo stake or even a wooden stake to do the job. I think the bamboo looks better…but it's up to you. Sparse watering or feeding could encourage shallow rooting.

Moving and Dividing Bleeding Heart

I have a bleeding heart plant that I would like to transplant I would like to know when I would be able to do that if it could be this spring or do I have to wait until fall. It is huge and I would like to separate it and make it in to two plants instead of one.

The 'bleeding heart' can be dug and divided at this time of year, before the new growth starts. It can also be divided in the fall.

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