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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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Uneven Cherry Tree Growth

We have two blooming Cherry trees that we bought 4 years ago and both of them are planted in our from yard, one has grown big and tall and the other one has not grown much at all, (the small one,) near the end of summer the leaves looks wilted, but this year the leaves has turn brown, we thought it was dying, but there looks to be new growth coming on and still alive underneath, what is our problem? Do you have a section on Cherry Trees?  

P. S. In the spring the smaller tree has lots more blooms then the larger one!

No, unfortunately we do not have a section on cherries. Usually when one tree does not do as well as another, you need to look down. The problem is usually in the soil, not in the upper portions of the tree. Here are a few possibilities:

1) The trees are different varieties, even though they were labeled the same when you bought them.

2) The tree roots were more severely pruned on the one tree.

3) The soil is too wet, too dry or of poor quality in that particular area.

4) Exposure to wind or cold is greater.

So, what should you do? I would start by feeding the tree in mid-February to mid-March with a quality rose type fertilizer that contains micro-nutrients like iron; magnesium; sulfur and zinc. To do this, make holes in the soil at the tree's drip line with a pipe or crowbar (6" to 10" deep and about 1ft apart). Then, put the correct amount of fertilizer down each hole (as per label directions).


Winter Pansies

I have planted winter pansies two years in a row in beds in the ground in the same location. Last year there were very few blossoms till warm spring weather arrived. The previous winter I had a loads of large blossoms. Did I purchase pansies that weren't really designed for the cool winter weather last year. I purchased them at two different businesses as the first one wasn't growing them the second year. We cherish the bright yellow colors during our dreary winter days and were very disappointed last year. If there are specific types that are best for plenty of winter blooms please advise.

Yes, there are a whole bunch of different varieties of pansies that are grown and sold as winter blooming pansies. In fact, some of the smallest flowering varieties are the actual 'Ice Pansies'. In our research garden we had excellent results with a variety called 'Velour', last winter. I have no idea where you can obtain them. Check with any large greenhouse, they may have varieties they like even better.

See Also: Winter Pansies


Touring With Ed

Can you please tell me how I can find out about the different tours that Ed has? I'd love to go on one...

He makes his travel arrangements through: Kent Cruise and Travel at 800-649-8984.  His next cruise will be from Rio to Chile on February 4th of 2000. Call the above number and they will send you the information.


Repotting Jade Plants

I have a Jade plant that is outgrowing its' indoor pot-- I think  What are the rules for transplanting; what type of soil should I use, and finally, what fertilizer in what measurements are called for?

Jade plants like to be root bound. If the roots are coming out the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot, repot into a pot only one size larger. Feed sparingly, once or twice a year only. Water sparingly, too! You probably have that figured out, as it sounds like the plant is doing just fine. Use a regular potting soil for transplanting.

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