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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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Planting Peppermint

I want to plant some peppermint but want to contain it,how deep do the roots go.

The best place to plant any of the mints is in a container. If you must plant it in the open ground put an 18 to 24 inch deep barrier of 32-mill polyethylene around the root system.

Propogating Sarcoccoca

I have two Sarcoccoca, one of which is the dwarf variety,Humilis and the other is Cofusa. Is it possible to propagate them?

Yes, you can take cuttings of them. Refer to my article on the web-site, 'taking cuttings'.

Dahlia Damage

We have a bed of 4 foot dahlias in the San Jose, CA area with little frost and usually a wet January to mid April. We haven't taken out the bulbs the last 2 years although they were prior to that. We had a warm February and they sprouted to 6 inches. Then a cold March and the foliage wilted and disapeared. Now, when we dug one up to check, the bulbs looked OK but no sign of a sprout. We're afraid of rot from our sprinkling system which covers other plants and is not selective.

Should we turn on the sprinkling system and see if they sprout? ( The soil is still damp from a rain). Or should we dig them up and wait till next February or so to plant.

No, I would leave them in the ground. If possible let the soil dry a little, but not to the point where it will affect any of your other plants. If the early sprouts are still attached to the tubers, cut them off, so the die-back does not continue to spread.

Weeping Cherry Not Blooming

I realize you're located in the NW but maybe you could shed some light on my problem. I have a four-year old weeping cherry that won't bloom. It was bought at our local New Hanover County Extension sale here in Wilmington. It had maybe two blooms on it last year, so I became hopeful, but again none this year. Any thoughts?

If the plant is growing OK, it may simply need feeding. Use a rose type fertilizer. Be certain to select a quality brand that includes the micro-nutrients (sometimes listed as minerals). I call them the vitamins, zinc, iron, magnesium, etc. Read and follow label instructions.

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