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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.

Other September Links

Clematis Blooming Poorly

I've got a Clematis that I've had for years and it has always bloomed beautifully, however, this year the lower half did not have any green leaves and looks rather ratty. Can I trim this out of my vine? Or will this hurt the plant?

That's what happens to clematis if they are not pruned back occasionally. Yes, you can prune to correct the situation. Do the pruning in about mid-February. Also, make an application of Epsom Salts around the vine (on the soil) in mid-April. Hope this information helps!

Storing Bulbs

We are in the process of selling my late grandmother's 100 year old home. There are thousands of wonderful bulbs planted around the property. I have begun digging them up and placing them in potato baskets and storing them in a "rooting cellar." The cellar is dark, damp, and cool. Will the bulbs be okay there until we find a place for them to be planted? If this is a decent method of storage, how long can I store them out of the ground? If this is not the best method of storage, what is the best thing to do with them?

September, October and early November are the best times to plant daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and the other spring flowering bulbs. So replanting them is the best storage area. The summer bulbs can be stored in a dark, cool area, but it should not be damp. The summer bulbs include gladiolus, dahlias, etc. Hope this information helps.

Controlling Ivy

Is there any product that will get rid of ivy that has been growing out of control for over 20 years? What is the best way to be rid of it for good.

There are products on the market that are specially formulated for the control of Ivy. Ask the folks at your local garden center for their recommendations as to which one to use. Remember, there will be dormant root stock and seeds, that germinate again later, so one application will not solve the problem. A spreader-sticker should be added with the spray, so it helps hold the solution on the leaves, until it is absorbed by the foliage.

Wintering Blueberries

How can I prepare my blueberry plants for winter?

Blueberries are hardy plants and really do not require any winter protection. However, growers will often mulch them with bark, sawdust or compost to help control weeds. Keep the layer of mulch very thin, an inch or less, as they are very shallow rooted.

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