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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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Tomatos Splitting

The question that I have is the tomato's that we are growing are starting to split. I have heard different reasons for this but don't know what to believe.

Split Tomato

There are different reasons for them splitting, that's probably why you are getting different stories. Usually lack of moisture, too much moisture, over-feeding or some kind of stress on the plant causes it. Usually by process of elimination you can determine what is causing it on your plants. Tomatoes usually start to crack during warm or rainy periods, especially if the soil has been dry prior to the rain or warm period.

See Also: Growing Tomatoes in a Cool Climate

Bitter Lettuce

I live in the Enumclaw area and have trouble with lettuce that is bitter in taste. Is there anything that can be added to the soil to sweeten the taste? Would picking the leaves earlier help?

Yes, bitterness is usually caused from lack of water or being too mature.

Pruning Daphne

Thanks for the great article on Daphne. As Im here in Australia we find it a bit hard to get much information on Daphne and as we have 1 thats 30yrs old and I need any information you can give me in the way of pruning.

Actually the best time to prune (if needed) is after they have finished flowering. A light shearing of varieties like Daphne cneorum is beneficial in that it keeps the plants bushy and promotes more flowers.

Pruning Butterfly Bushes

We have 2 beautiful Butterfly Bushes that are in need of pruning. When is the best time of year for these plants to be pruned, and how aggressive should we be when we do prune them?

You can prune them quite severely. I cut mine back to over 50% and it grows right back and flowers like crazy. The best time to prune is between, November and early March.

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