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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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Bolting Broccoli

I planted some broccoli plants about three weeks ago (in central NJ) - they went to flowers already without producing heads - can these plants be salveged?

Pick out the seed heads immediately, however it probably is too late. Cold weather, hot weather, fertilizer burn and stress will cause them to 'bolt'.

Moving a Pumpkin

I have a pumpkin plant that is in the wrong spot. It has grown to a size where it is pushing away a neighboring rose bush. I didn't expect the pumpkin bush to grow so Big. Can I still transplant the plant somewhere else, or is it too late? What should I do?

It is probably too late for you to move the plant. They don't transplant very well once they are over 6 to 8 inches long. Just redirect the growth of the plant. Pull that vine away and brace it with a stick so it doesn't engulf the neighboring rose.

Deer Resistant Vines

I have just built a new 16'x16' arbor and need some advice with vines that are hardy in the Seattle area and deer resistant. I like the idea of the evergreen clematis and would like to incorporate other vines for summer color and perhaps fall interest. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wisteria is about the only vine deer will not bother…and even then, if they are hungry they will eat just about anything. Of the permanent vines the clematis, passion vine, honeysuckle (attracts bees) and Trumpet vine are good choices…but are susceptible to deer damage.

Lilac Care

We have several lilac bushes around our home, for the past five years we have been getting alot of green foilage and not alot of blooms, I know these are very old, but can you give me some advice for pruning them. Do lilacs need food or mulch?

My husband and I were saying we see them sometimes growing wild in differnt places(where no one cares for them) and they always look so beautiful compared to ours. Any information you can give would be very helpful.

Lilacs need bright sun, sweet soil (limed), and to be fed occasionally. Use a rose type food to feed them. The best time to feed is in mid-February or Mid-May to Mid-June. Water-in the fertilizer after application. Pruning now would result in loss of flowers next year. Too much shade, lack of feeding or the soil being too acid usually causes lack of bloom.

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