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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 March Links

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Pruning Yew

I have two yew bushes that are overgrown and planted under windows. They are halfway above the windows. Can I prune hard to reduce size back under the window? Will they come back?

If there are still green needles on the lower parts of the branches, they should do just fine. But, if you are cutting into bare branches, it may be a little difficult for the new growth to develop. When possible it's best to prune back to and stay within green growth.

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Jade Plant Problems

Every spring my Jade gets yellow leaves that drop off. Otherwise it does well and grows nicely during the rest off the year. I keep it in a south second floor sun room. All my plants seem to flourish there. The only problem seems to be with the Jade. What am I doing wrong?

Jade plants go through a winter dormant season from November to April, when watering should be kept to a minimum. My guess is that the plant is getting too much water during its dormancy.

I recently followed poor advice fron a florist. A jade plant that I have had for 16 years had white cotton-like pieces on it and the plant was beginning to droop. She did advise me that this was caused by mealybugs and to use a cotton swab with alcohol. I patiently dabbed every one. The problem was the next step. She told me to spray malathion on it. I noticed that my other jade had a little of the white substance so I sprayed them both. Now both plants look awful. I took each out of their pots and poured water over them many times and then filled the laundry tub with water and briefly soaked each in an effort to remove this insecticide. I then repotted them in new soil.

Call the company on the label of Malathion and ask them if they have a remedy. They usually will have an (800) number listed on the label. Or, the last number I have for the National Pesticide Tele Comm. Is (800) 858-7378, maybe they can help you. Hope this information helps.

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Moving the Garden

We are moving. I was hoping to take some of the plants with me before I go. The ones that were my favorites. Our current home will not be put on the market until the end of February. Is there a way for me to take some of my beautiful plants with me and actually have them survive? My new home has 3 1/2 acres to garden on. I could transplant now if I wanted to, the other house is already ours.

There are a couple of ways to do it. First, this is a great time (early Feb) for transplanting and so is late February or early March. Second, you can tag the plants you want to take, and the new buyer is then told that all tagged plants are yours and will be dug and transplanted before a certain date. So, you have choices in this case.

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Fireplace Ash in the Garden

Ed, is there anything in the garden that you can put your ashes from the fireplace on?

Yes, fireplace ashes can be used in the flower garden or even the vegetable garden. Use it sparlingly, about ½" is all. Ashes loose their potash content quickly, so do not let them sit around for long periods of time. At the same time do not spread them while they are still hot.

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