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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 February Links

Tiny Black Bugs (aphid) on Beans

Q Greetings....we grow fava beans in our garden every year. Yummy...however...we always seem to collect tiny black bugs all over them? What are they? And what do we do?

A The insects are usually black aphids. You can simply wash them off with a strong spray of water and if the ants put them right back on the plants, use a vegetable dust.

Strawberry Maintenance

Q I have strawberries that I've had for two seasons now, plants in the garden that is, is there something that I should do prior to them blooming in the spring?

A Strawberries can be fed with a vegetable garden type fertilizer in March. Remove the old brown leaves, to make space for the newly developing leaves.

Repotting Tomato Starts

Q Once seeds have sprouted in flats covered with a plastic lid, when should the lid be taken off??...I'm not sure when to take the baby plants out from under their warm cover?

AUsually the plants are repotted once they have formed a true set of leaves.

Hydrangea Drooping

Q I recieved a beautiful lace cap hydrangea (sp?) for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately yesterday it started looking VERY droopy. The petals on the flowers are curling. It doesn't look yellow though. I'm watering it about once a week. It's in the house on the cement floor by the window downstairs (we face South so it gets a lot of light).

What am I doing wrong? Why is it drooping? And when is the soonest I can safely plant it outside?

A It sounds like the plant is in need of more water. Hydrangeas dry out very quickly because of their large leaves. You should be able to plant it outside in early April, weather permitting. The temperatures should be consistently above freezing into the 40’s or 50’s.

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