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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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Other December Links

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Wintering Dahlia Tubers

I live in Oregon where the temperature rarely gets below freezing. Is it necessary to dig up my mini dahlias this time of the year or can they stay in the ground year round with our climate.

 That's a tough question to answer. I leave my tubers in every winter, but I have raised beds with very good drainage. In addition, I mulch the tubers over winter with compost or leaves. But, if your soil tends to be moist or wet all winter, then you may find it necessary to winter the tubers indoors.

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Moving Raspberries

I have recently moved to a small farm that has a raspberry patch which has not been maintained. I would like to move the raspberries to an area on the farm, which is to be our garden area. I live in an area north of Toronto which has cold winters. The soil here is almost pure sand. I have no idea how to transplant raspberries. How do I know what to transplant? Do I cut them back now (November) in preparation for the spring?

You may be too late to move them this fall. If the temperature have already dipped below freezing you may want to wait until after the last frost in spring. Keep the new young canes. They can be cut at 4 to 5 feet now. Completely cut out the old canes. They will be or look as if they are aged or dead. Raspberries do best in full sun in soil that is well drained. Add organic humus when transplanting them. Peat moss, compost and similar forms of organic humus are the ideal soil additives, mixing them with your existing soil about one third to fifty percent.

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Sagina Moss Spacing

What is the growth rate of sagina moss?

I have found that 4 inch pot plants will about double the first year. If given good soil and liquid fertilizer, that growth rate of about 4 or 5 inches per year should continue. If you're asking how far to plant them apart I would suggest you plant 1" divisions every 6 to 9 inches apart. Hope this information helps.

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Orange Spots On Apple Tree

 I have a Fuji Apple Tree that has on its branch just below where it had been cut last year some bright orange dots all in a cluster and it appears to be spreading to other branches. It did not appear until the wet weather and rain. Do you know what it is? How and what do a treat it with. And when can I treat it.

You might want to take a little of it into a Certified Professional Horticulturist or Certified Nursery-person at your local independent Garden Center. They can make an on-the-spot diagnosis. It sounds a bit like copper spot, which is a secondary disease, often an indicator that the plant is not doing well at that point of growth. But, I cannot tell you without seeing it. That's why the CPH or WCN person can help you better.

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