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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 October Links

How to Prune Grapes

We have moved into this house late in December of 97, and to our suprise (a nice one i might add) we found grape vines growing in our back yard. The problem is I haven't a clue as what to do with them, They have already born their fruit, small but very nice and sweet. My questions are... is this the right time of season for grapes? when do we prune them?

Grape vines are pruned in late winter or earliest spring, before the new growth begins. Since they bear fruits on new growth, pruning is the main concern. With most varieties, the vines are pruned back to about 5 or 6 feet. The side canes are pruned to about the second or third bud down the cane.


Can you tell me if heliotrope can be grown here in south Florida? Many times in my life I have heard of this wonderful smelling vine or shrub, but just found info on it on your web-page for the first time.

Actually, I have seen the plant grown outdoors in Florida. It is an annual and may suffer a little during your hottest weather. The key is keeping the dead flowers picked, so the plant continues flowering.

Moles Revisited

I have a severe mole problem that cropped up literally overnight. The moles are digging around the foundation of the house and I am concerned about possible damage. I have your mole recipe but I cannot find any castor oil that has not been deodorized and I understand that it wont work as it has no odor. Can you advise on where I can purchase castor oil or is it available in your catalog.

There are several products on the market that contain Castor Oil. Mole-Med; Scoot Mole and two or three others.

The Castor Oil works by coating the insects, then when the moles eat them (the insects are their source of food) it gives the insects a funny taste plus causes the mole to have diarrhea. Generally, they will move on.

I got a note from a listener the other day and they said they had purchased their Castor Oil at Costco at quite a savings. I have not checked this out...so I am passing it along for what it is worth.

See Also:  Trapping Moles  Mole Formula

Growing Garlic

I would appreciate information on when to plant garlic, how to prepare the soil, when and how to fertilize and when to harvest.

Plant at the same time as you plant tulips and spring flowering bulbs. In other words, in September, October or November. Plant in raised soil that has been enriched with organic matter such as peat moss, compost and/or well rotted or processed manure. To harvest withhold water the entire month of July, then dig, allow to dry and either braid or string. Keep and use as needed.

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