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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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Special Raised Bed

Several months ago on your TV show my wife saw you talking about a raised  planter which used both wood and stepping stones. She was very impressed and I would like to build one for her. Can you please tell me how I might get some information?

If you will send a Stamped, self-Addressed envelope to:

Darsie Beck/Gardening in America

728-A Pacific Ave.

Tacoma, WA 98402

He will send you plans for the raised bed you saw on the program.

Planting Under Douglas Firs

How come plants don't grow well where Douglas Fir needles lay? Even the lawn dies where they lay. I have tried several shade loving plants under there tree, but except for ferns nothing will grow there. I notice in the woods very little grows under the firs where the needles are heavy.

I have 7 Douglas firs in my garden and have no trouble growing plants under them. Currently, I have salal,hypericum, rhododendrons, azaleas and several different perennials growing under them. Many of these plants have been established for up to ten years or more.

The secret is getting enough water and fertilizer to the plants. As the trees are the dominant plants, they tend to have roots at the surface that take their share immediately. Feed the base plantings with a liquid fertilizer (on their foliage) and watch the watering closely.

Wysteria Not Blooming

I have two Wysteria plants they both have been in about 4-5 years. Both are growing beautifully. Mostly sunny area, well drained soil. I live in Redmond Washington. My question is how come my Wysteria is not blooming? I drove through a neighbor hood and many houses had Wysteria and their's were all blooming. I have two different kinds but I couldn't tell you what they are.

Wysterias will not flower if they are given too much water, fertilizer or too much care in general. They thrive on a certain amount of neglect. If the plants are getting too large, you may want to prune them this fall or winter.

Wysteria use a rose-type fertilizer.  They should only be fed once a year in early march.

Roses and Black-spot Disease

My roses seem to get a lot of brown spots on the leaves. The roses seem okay the rose bush looks bad. I do feed them.

Roses are susceptible to black-spot disease. This shows up in the form of black spots on the leaves. The leaves may eventually turn yellow (with black spots) and fall to the ground. Treat the leaves with a good rose fungicide. The American Rose Society suggests 'Funginex'. Apply according to label directions.

Roses need monthly feeding during the growing season with a rose-type fertilizer.

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