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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.

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Full Sun Perennials

live in west central Illinois on the Mississippi River about 100 miles south of Moline, Illinois. I am interested in starting a perenial flower garden and will be starting basically from scratch. We have sandy soil which grows great tomatoes, corn, melons, cumcumbers, and peppers. I have one location that would be almost full sun and one that would be partial shade. Any ideas or suggestions?

We carry a number of varieties that would be great for those areas. They are:

Planting Lawns

I am preparing to plant grass. I have recently tilled and prepared my back yard for planting grass. I plan to plant a Tall Fescue variety.My question is, whether or not it is to early to sow lawn seed. I live in North Central Kansas. I have read conflicting opinions on this subject. Some say "get it in early to beat the weeds" and others say," there is no hurry because soil temp is too low." What is your opinion?

I think one should wait until after all danger of frost is over. Otherwise, the seed just sits there and is an invitation to birds and insects.

Iris Won't Bloom

I have iris bulbs that were shared with me by a dear friend. I have had  them for about 7 years and only one bulb has bloomed one time. I have tried moving them to a sunnier location, new soil in the beds, and fertilizing with bone meal. The bulbs have multiplied normally, but just won't bloom.

The usual reasons why Iris do not bloom is because they need dividing, are too crowded, do not get enough sunlight or most often because they are planted too deeply.

Controlling Buttercups

I'm hoping to just ask a question I can't get answered by anyone else about the Ranunclus that is all over the new property we just bought. How do you liquidate this stuff without using chemicals, or is that my only hope?

About the only way is to grub it out by hand. Then there will be dormant seeds that will undoubtedly come back. This is a tough weed to control!

Weed killers that list Buttercup on the label can be used, but be sure to add a sticker/spreader (like horticultural oil or liquid detergent soap) to hold the spray on the weed until it is absorbed.

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