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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 September Links

Sunflower Seeds

We planted some of the Ed Hume Mammoth Grey Sunflower seeds this summer. Our questions is if these are edible seeds to humans when they are dried. Also, when should we cut off the flower heads to hang dry and how long does it normally take to dry?

To save the seeds, cut the flower heads when they are mature. Usually a few seeds will begin falling out or the birds will begin picking at them. Then you know they are mature. Let them dry a bit more by placing the cut flower/seed head in a cool well-ventilated spot. Once dry, individual seeds can be lightly roasted on a cookie sheet in the oven. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the seeds to dry inside, but it depends upon indoor conditions.

Moving a Sedum

I have a sedum plant (possibly Autumn Joy) that has been in the family since mid 1980's. It is in the ground now (for about 10 years at this location) but was originally in a pot. We are going to move some time in the next 2 to 8 months and would like to take it with us. How soon can I did it up and what else do I need to know about moving it?

It should be easy to move. Simply dig and either heal-in or pot and keep in a place where it will not get damaged by freezing weather. Replant as soon as you relocate, in a bright sunny spot. Mix some organic humus into the new planting soil. Compost, peat moss and processed manure are all good forms of organic humus. Mix about one third with the new existing soil.

Starting a Passion Flower

My question is, how can I get starts from my Passion Flower plant and what time of the year is the best to get starts. I have noticed that I get little passion friuts from the plant but there doesn't seem to be any seeds inside them.

Take cuttings of the vine. The best time is during the months of July or August, or during the dormant season months of November through March. Take new mature growth cutting about 6 inches long. See my article on 'Taking cuttings' on our website.

Mothballs For Moles?

I heard from a garden guy at "a national chain store" that moles hate mothballs. I planted several in the holes where "hills" were made and thus far (about 12 hours) I have no more hills. Do you know anything about this and have you heard about success from others? I was told they hate the smell and will close tunnels where these these "bombs" are planted....

The active ingredient of mothballs is generally 'Naphthalene' flakes. This can affect the liver and over-all health of other animals, such as cats, so we cannot recommend them as a means of control.  For more information on mole control see the article "Mole Formula" on this website.

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