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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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Winter Lawn Height

How long (short or long) should the last mowing of the fall be. Some say very short and some say very long.

I cut my lawn at 1 inch. If you cut it long, with fall and winter rains it begins to lay-down and the chances of disease and a thatch build-up are greatly increased.


Underdeveloped Corn

I purchased small corn stocks and planted each with a small amount of vegetable fertilizer in each hole. I planted a variety of golden, white and white/golden mixed. Many of the ears of corn had a large amount of underdeveloped corn sections along with mature corn on the same stock. Also, some of the ears of corn developed without any outer covering, and they were small with just a few kernels that matured. What happened?

It sounds like the plants went through transplanting shock. Corn is one of the many vegetables that do best when seeded directly into their permanent spot.  There is no advantage to buying corn starts. I would highly recommend you start your corn from seed next year, and also go light on the fertilizer at planting time. Then give them a boost with a little fertilizer in early July….using a 'vegetable garden' type fertilizer or a 'rose' type food, as long as it does not contain any kind of insecticide.


Swedish Deer Repellent

On your Sat. Sept. 9th., 2000 Radio program (KVI 570) at just  before 12:00 Noon it was announced to keep tuned for a Swedish formula to repel deer from the garden. We are particularly troubled with deer attacking a large Rose garden.  

Unfortunately the formula was never mentioned. Can you help?   Sure curious to what might be successful in Sweeden.

I have not tried this, yet. It was recommended by another Garden Writer. Hope it works!

Swedish Skewers -- Deer-Repellent Cubes:

Mix 2.5 lbs of bloodmeal into one bucket of water.

Add 1 cup of ammonia.

Place cubes of green Oasis (the kind used for cut flowers) on  bamboo stakes or skewers. Dip the oasis into the above "soup" -- until saturated. (Somewhat like making Fondue!)

Place the Skewered Cube Stakes strategically throughout your garden, hosta patch or naturalized bulb plantings -- or wherever deer are problematic. Re-dip the cubes weekly to resaturate.

See Also: Plants that Deer Do Not Like  More Deer Solutions  Discouraging Deer & Other Animal Pests  Lilies and Deer


Moving Gloriosa Daisies (and most other perennials)

This year I planted some of your gloriosa daisy seeds for the first time ever. They turned out to be 4 feet tall and the most beautiful plants I have ever grown. My problem is that I am moving and would like to take them with me since they are perennials. How do I prune and move them the cause the least harm?

Just wait a little while and the plants will be touched by frost. As that time they can be cut back, and very easily transplanted. Take soil with the root ball when you move them.

See Also:  Gloriosa Daisy    Dividing & Transplanting Perennials

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