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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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Nuisance Bamboo

My question is how do I kill my neighbor's bamboo that is coming into my yard and wrapping itself around all my plants. I am constantly chopping off and digging up the bamboo spikes. He planted the bamboo several years ago all along his side of our split-rail fence. I just want to get rid of the shoots on my side.

You can dig a trench along the fence, put 32 mil black plastic down the trench and stop it from coming into your property. You still have to get rid of whatever plants have already taken hold in your garden. The trench should be about 24 inches deep.

Round-up also has a recommendation on their product, giving a solution/dilution that can be poured down the stems of bamboo, to help control it. It would be against the law for you to go onto their property and treat the bamboo, but you might check with your lawyer and see if it is all right to treat the plants on your side of the fence?

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Dormant Fern

I have a Maiden Hair Fern that has lost all of its green....do they go dormant? I have thrown away more ferns just because I thought I had killed them....now I am wondering if in fact they do go dormant. I would appreciate it if you have any information regarding this.

Yes, Maiden Hair fern does go dormant when grown in the garden. In the home this fern (and others) needs plenty of humidity. So be certain to place it on a waterproof tray, filled with gravel, then fill water half-way up the gravel. This method provides an island of humidity around the fern.

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Vinegar as a Weed Killer

A few weeks ago you told us we could get rid of moss with vinegar. I tried it and it works great. What I need to know is if I spray it on plants will the vinegar kill the plants too.

Yes, vinegar will kill plants too. So one must be careful in how it is used.

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pH for Sweet Potatoes

Could you please tell me the preferred ph range for growing sweet potatoes?

5.6 to 6.5 is the ideal pH range for Sweet potatoes. In other words slightly acid. If the soil is neutral to sweet they are more susceptible to disease.

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