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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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Identifying Weeds

We have only been in the Northwest a couple years. Can you recommend an weed identification book that has pictures of common weeds up here. I have the book Plants of the pacific northwest coast, but they do not have pictures of all the weeds I see here on the in the Sequim area.

WSU, Washington State University has an excellent weed book, which shows many of the weeds of the Pacific Northwest. Check your library, as they probably have a copy of it. Then if you like the book, you can obtain it from the Publications Dept. at WSU, or through the Master Gardener's in Callam County at (360) 417-2279.

Nematodes in Tomatoes (rotating crops)

If you have not had an infestation of nematodes, can you plant your tomatoes in the same area as last year?

It is always better to rotate crops, but it would probably be OK to use the same area. I say probably, because nematode infestation is not the only condition that benefits from moving your tomatoes. Blossom end rot and blight can be reduced by planting in different soil.

Brown Spots on Rhododendrons

I planted a rhododenron on South side of my house last summer. It has gotten brown/black spots on leaves. New growth is coming. What do I do to prevent the black/brown on the leaves. What causes this? Too cold, too much moisture? Is there any kind of spray recommended?

Most varieties of rhododendrons will not tolerate full sun. They are basically shade or semi-shade plants. So the black/brown spots are sun burn. Move this one to a more protected area…shady spot.

Lilac Suckers

What is the best way to get rid of suckers from lilac bushes?

You can actually dig them up with a pitch-fork, separate them from the other roots and start new plants or share them with friends and neighbors. Monterey Products of Fresno, California makes a product they call "Sucker Stopper'. Contact them for information on how to use their product for this situation.

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