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Re: CULT: + Beauty is as beauty does

>okay, so rot in the iris garden is just a natural thing for us northern 
>people every spring? I am trying to work up to the courage to tend the 
>TB's in my bed, but I'm afraid of finding more rot.  

I didn't mean to imply that.  There's a lot more to inducing rot than a 
northern climate.  *My* garden seems to experience rot as a normal part 
of the spring thaw each year, but the degree to which it occurs varies 
according to a range of factors.  Most of my irises grow in acidic clay 
that largely defies improvement, regardless of how often or with what I 
amend it.  My iris beds are also subjected to frequent trampling by deer, 
which serves to compact my already compacted clay into concrete around 
the rhizomes.  My soil is not soggy and does drain as well as clay can be 
expected to drain, but it is certainly more moisture retentive than sand 
or sandy loam.  And then there is the weather.  In other words, don't let 
my problems with rot scare you out of your own iris beds.  Your rot may 
be minimal compared to mine.

>I put a whole 
>bale of straw on my unknown Grandma's iris, and it looks the best of the 
>whole garden (100+)!

The mulch may have helped.  Then again, your Grandma's iris which I 
assume has been growing happily, healthily, and fully acclimated in your 
area for decades would likely have come through winter just fine without 
it (as it probably has been doing all along).

Now go on out there and see what's happening with your TBs.  I know it's 
difficult to face potential iris losses, but once you've done it a few 
hundred times, you'll get the hang of it.  ;-)

Happy irising,


USDA zone 3b, AHS zone 4 - northern MN
acidic clay soil

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