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Re: CULT: AZ AP root growth

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] CULT: AZ AP root growth
  • From: "Lynn Stucker D.V.M." drlynn@wi.rr.com
  • Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 23:36:36 -0500

I had to respond to your comments about cow manure as well as others discussing it.  I wish that I could get some readily here in my new house in Wisconsin.  As a young girl growing up in KY, my grandmother's iris gardens were beautiful.  She had hundreds of rhizomes, in all colors, all varieties, but mostly TB's.  Grandma swore that the best thing for them was what Grandpa brought home from the stock yards.  I remember her soil being as black as coal and smelling so rich.  She also grew the best veggies, too.  So, I have the belief that cow manure is the way to go......
Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories.
Lynn Stucker
Greendale, WI
----- Original Message -----
From: Cordesview
Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2005 10:00 PM
Subject: [iris-photos] CULT: AZ AP root growth

Okay, here's a picture of something nifty. I know they're not in bloom yet, but the greens are healthy!
I have AZ AP here planted next to a rose.  Spring is coming full-swing, so I took the winter-protecting rose cones off the roses and pushed the mulch aside. 
The "mulch" is composted cow manure.  I have always been warned about using "cow manure" on iris, since it's too hot for them.  But as a certified organic dairy farm, we've always composted our cow manure.  This is a mix of the cattle waste and straw, along with a controlled amount of sawdust that we use for bedding.  The composting process on our farm lasts a full summer season, about 4 months. (stop laughing!  I know it's not that long of a season!)
Yesterday I felt the mulch was too close to this really vigorous clump of AZ AP, so I brushed some aside. Then I saw all the iris roots growing out of the soil line, and into the compost (mulch.)!  You can't tell from my photo, but the roots are above the soil line about 1/8 inch, and were growing up into the compost.  I guess the iris was desperate for some nutrients!  :-)  It's the healthiest IB iris in this bed, possibly due to the compost?  This clump of AZ AP has been in this bed for about 5 or 6 years!  A clump photo is also posted with this e-mail, so you can see how well it multiplied.  Last year it only had 4 stalks!!!
Having fun,

Adam Cordes
President -- Mio Iriarians
Hillman, Michigan
Region 6
Zone 4 (and a half. . . )

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