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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 April Links

Transplanting a Japanese Maple

We would like to move our Maple and have heard it is delicate. Unable to find any info on this. Would you advise us please?

Everyone is hesitant to move a Japanese maple because they are so delicate and valuable. The key is to move them before the new growth starts, in other words, during their winter dormant season. You must dig a root ball and move it soil and all (do not bare-root the plant). The size of the root ball is determined by the size of the plant. If you a re a first time gardener, you may want to seek advice from a nearby nursery or even have them move it for you.

Pampas Grass

I have a question about pampas grass I purchased last summer. I am not sure if you are supposed to trim pampas grass, but It makes no difference because I have done it already. Is this going to kill my grass? The plumes have not flowered yet. Is there any way to save them? And are you not supposed to trim them to the ground?

Yes, they can be trimmed to the ground, but they do not have to be cut back. Trimming is usually done when they become ragged or have grown out of bounds.


I have planted thyme around the base of a tree to provide ground cover. The chickweed has basically taken over. I know that to spray with roundup would probably kill the chickweed but also the Thyme. Does the Thyme have sufficient woody stems so that I might put Casoeron on the area and not kill the Thyme or is there a better solution?

No, I wouldn't use Casoron, it is apt to affect the Thyme, too. Grub out the 'chickweed' and treat the area with a pre-emergent weed control product. Check with the Certified Nurseryperson at your local garden center. I think 'Concern' has a product that would work, but you would have to read the label first. (It's called 'Weed Prevention Plus')

Staking Gladiolas

My glads are beautiful, but fall over very easily. What is an attractive way to stake these plants?

Usually when glads fall over they are planted too shallow. You can stake them with wire hoops. These are available at some garden stores, or you can make them yourself. Use a straight wire 18" high with a small loop at the top.

NW Strawberries

I searched your site, but found nothing telling me what types of strawberries are best grown in Thurston County, WA and also, I am looking for some place I could obtain starts for cranberry plants. Do you know of any place in Washington or on the internet to obtain these?

Some of the best strawberries are Rainier, Tri-Star, Benton, Puget Summer, Shuksan. Raintree Nursery, 391 Butts Road, Morton, WA 98356 lists two varieties of Cranberries. Their web site is RaintreeNursery.com

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