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Re: RE: Cult: Fertilization

Jan, somehow I do not believe the aspect of bloomstalks has much to do with
steer manure. I use steer or any manure, with bone meal, here in Northern
Calif, and I think it works well (except for weed seed it imports). I believe
any type of compost you can add to the soil improves the soil condition. For
me, when using manure or compost, I take extra care to provide extra water.
not less, to prevent the manure from burning. However, even in summer with
periods of 110 degree heat, I water less than I would a lawn. I have excellent
soil drainage, no clay soil, which I think is the primary factor in avoiding
rot. Raised beds, lots of compost to lighten the soil are advisable for those
with clay beds.

What other factors might be having an impact on the number of bloomstalks in
your garden. Are your irises in full sun? Are you keeping them weed free? How
many years were the irises in the bed before you provided manure? Aged and
crowded beds reduce nutrients to the rhizomes, particularly phosphorus, which
is needed for bloom, and even though you move them to a new bed, or supplement
an existing old bed, it can take a couple of years for the rhizomes to
recover.  Bone meal, which gives the phosphorus back, can take up to 2 years
to break down.   I know others who swear by putting bone meal in their beds
every year, to keep adding back the nutrients, so that you are a year ahead of
soil depletion... and I too believe this is advisable.

Kitty Loberg

----- Original Message -----
From: "FRANCELLE EDWARDS" <FJMJEDWARDS@worldnet.att.net>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:33 PM
Subject: [iris] RE: Cult: Fertilization

> Jan, the greatest danger to irises growing in a bed that has had manure
> added will come with the summer heat.  Those big, soft, bloomless clumps
> will start to rot.  Watch them carefully, water them in the heat as
> little as possible, and when rot appears, I would dig them, divide them,
> discard the rotted rhizomes, sterilize the rest in a one to ten clorox
> solution, one cup clorox to ten cups water, and replant them some place
> else, perhaps in pots until fall.  I can't tell you what to do about the
> bed.  I put manure in an iris bed about thirty years ago and lost most
> of them.  I didn't do anything.  I wasn't an iris person in those days.
> I think in about three years the survivors recovered.  I also had roses
> in that bed.  They liked the manure and probably took much of the
> nitrogen out of it.  I hear of people in other parts of the country
> using manure on irises, but here in Arizona they just don't mix.
> Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 10:21:27 -0700
> From: Janet Hueller <jansirisgarden@juno.com>
> Subject: Re: [iris] Cult
> This is my first time to post to this list.  Please advise if I do
> something out of line.
> Question is:  We added 1/2 bag of composted steer manure to approx. 25
> sq. ft. of bed.  The foiliage is terrific.  The best we've ever had, but
> I'm not seeing much in the way of bloomstalks.  I'm blamming it on the
> manure.  So, how much is the right amount and how many years to I have
> to
> pay for this mistake?  Will they be o.k. next year, or should I dig up
> and ???
> Have a SNOW FLURRY with triple socket at the terminal.  Is this normal
> for SF?
> Thanks for any input.
> Jan-Tucson
> ------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 21:39:47 -0500
> From: "Arnold Koekkoek" <koekkoek@mtcnet.net>
> Subject: Re: [iris] Cult: fertilization
> Iris don't want lots of nitrogen, which makes for lots of leaves rather
> than
> blossoms.  If you do fertilize, you need something having more
> phosphorus, or
> at least an amount equal to the the nitrogen.  Something like
> superphosphate
> or bonemeal, though the latter is slow acting. Or maybe a 5-6-6, the
> first
> number being nitrogen, the second phosphorus, and the last one
> potassium.
> The right thing for your soil might be different for here in Iowa,
> however, so
> somebody in Arizona needs to advise you.  Francelle Edwards lives in
> Glendale,
> AZ, and I'm sure she could advise.  She is a member of this list.
> Francelle,
> are you there?
> Arnold
> Arnold & Carol Koekkoek
> 38 7th Street, NE
> Sioux Center, IA 51250
> e-mail  koekkoek@mtcnet.net
> ------------------------------

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