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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 August Links

Pumpkin Problems

I have a problem with my pumpkin plants. The blossoms come on and then form a small about 1" pumpkin and then the pumpkin and all fall off. The plants are healthy and thriving. I water with a sprinkler in the mornings prior to going to work. I am so looking forward to roasted pumpkin seeds.

Yes, the problem is that the first flowers are female, and the male flowers have not yet formed to produce pollen. You can speed up the process by taking a paint brush or feather and go from flower to flower spreading the pollen from a male flower to the female flowers yourself.

Setting Tomatoes

I have tomato plants that are big and healthy with lots of flowers, but I don't see any tomatoes yet. Is there anything I can do to make the blooms turn to fruit?

Yes, you can treat the blossoms of tomatoes with a 'fruit set'. Most garden outlets carry such products. Follow label instructions, because you use very little of the spray to be effective. Tapping or gently shaking the plant occasionally also helps set fruit.

See Also: Growing Tomatoes in a Cool Climate

Starting Blueberries From Cuttings

We have a blueberry bush ( early ) . I would like to get some plants started from it. I read somewhere that you can slit the branch, wedge open the slit, pack in spagmun moss, wrap with plastic and wrap with a dark material and let it be. I don't know the time frame for all this to take place and do I soak the spagmun moss in anything but water?

Water is all you need. You can do this in late winter or late summer. (However, you can also start the plants from cuttings taken in July or August. Take tip cuttings about 4 to 6 inches in length.) See my article on our website about taking cuttings.

Wisteria Won't Flower

My problem is a 4 year old Japanese Wysteria. It has never flowered. It receives morning and afternoon sun, then it's in full shade. It's planted on the NE corner of my patio. It's greenery is lush and beautiful, and makes my patio here on Lummi Island, Wa just gorgeous. I just wish it would bloom!

Wisteria thrives on a bit of neglect and we tend to over-water and over feed the vines. I would suggest that you feed it right now and again in September with 0-10-10, to harden the vine and hopefully encourage blooming next season.

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