Tomatoes and Hydrangeas
I've got 2 questions, hydrangea and tomatoes, this morning and hoping y'all can help me. Here in the South [Richmond, Virginia], we call hydrangeas, "snowball bushes."
Last year, I extracted from the "mother bush" who is HUGE and at least 10 yrs. old, a 'baby' hydrangea. I called our local nursery, found out all the pertinent info, i.e., separate root ball, offshoot of "mother' plant, time of transplanting, basically everything I could think of to ask. I was able to obtain the 'offspring' and transplanted it successfully as it now has TEN brand new purple blooms on it and has more than doubled in size! I've been thrilled with my new ' little sprout!"
In the fall, I cut the 'mother bush' all the way back nearly a foot from the ground as instructed, removing all dead limbs, etc., by the advice of the same nursery--The Great Big Greenhouse--who helped me with my first transplanting of my 'baby hydrangea.'
Here are my questions re: hydrangea/'snowball bushes':
1. The mother plant has absolutely NO BLOOMS whatsoever this year only large green leaves!! I didn't add Miracle Grow to the 'mother plant' as she was already established, have not fertilized her as she had bloomed consecutively every year since I've been in the house. What happened? Have I done something wrong to hurt the plant?
2. Today, I found 2 other 'off shoots' [complete with root ball system] and wanted to transplant those now as well. Should I? Or should I wait till next year?
3. Did I cut the 'mother plant' back to far or to soon in the fall season?
4. Do hydrangeas after approximately 10 yrs no longer bloom?
5. Is there anything I can do to re-establish her growing ability?
Question #2 deals with my first attempt @ growing tomatoes. My sister last year gave me a "topsy-turvy" tomato ecosystem where the vegetable is grown inverted. I'm sure everyone is familiar with them.
This is also my first attempt with this method or any method for that matter as well. It, I'm hoping, is really successful as I've been certified disabled with degenerative disc disease and bending over digging, weeding, etc. in a garden is out of the question for me.
Here are my questions re: tomatoes:
1. Can the potting soil required to grow tomatoes be Miracle Grow?
2. Is the taste of the tomato determined by the dirt its grown in? More specific, could a 'chemical blend' such as Miracle Grow alter the taste of the tomato perhaps?
3. Today is Sun., May 23, 2010 and I want to do this on Wed., May 26th due to heavy rains from now till the afternoon of the 26th. Is it too late to plant tomatoes in this particular type of ecosystem, the topsy-turvy?
4. Are there any suggestions from anyone who has used this system and were completely satisfied with their results? Pros? Cons? Would you use it again next season?
5. Is there any particular tomato that would do well with humid, warm [mid 60 degree] nights and 80-85 degree days?
I love a Hanover, Beefsteak, or any tomato that is a large, sweet type of vegetable. Can you think of anything better for a BLT or a bologna and cheese on a hot Summer's day? Yum! Our nights have been really cool, 40's even a couple of 35's but now seem to be levelly out in the mid 60's.
I'm a newbie at this and any and all suggestions and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. I promise to keep you posted on the results!
Again, thank you so very much for your time and advice.