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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 January Links

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Rhododendron Problems

Why is it that some -- of the same type-- rhododendrons will die out when planted right next to each other and yet others will just do great?

It is hard to say what causes them to die. Sometimes it is root rot (a disease), other times a plant may be root bound (where the roots are tied-up or wound around and cannot escape the original root ball). Planting too deeply can cause major health problems as can mulching too deeply.

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Cats in the Houseplants

Are there any solutions (other than aluminum foil, which doesn't look very nice!) that will keep my three cats from using my houseplants as a litter box?

Try dusting the soil with hot pepper. It usually works because of the smell.

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Early Tomatoes in a Warm Climate

Can I plant your IPB, Oregon Spring, & Siberia tomatoes early? For example can I start them in December in a greenhouse? I live in Southern California, and am wondering if early means I can start them early to get fruit earlier, or do I have to wait until the end of January to start them? Would any of your non-hybrid tomatoes do well grown in pots?

Yes, you can start them in December. I am not sure how well Siberia will do for you, but both Siberia and Oregon Spring do well in pots.

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Mold on Bulbs

We have mold growing around and on our hyacinth bulbs. Can you tell my wife and I how to treat it.

Dust the bulbs with "Soil and Bulb Dust". (That is the actual name of the product.)

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