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CULT: Winter mulch

Char -

<Do you think that totally covering these rhizomes with dirt for the 
winter would give them more protection?  One from weather and two from
Normally, I mulch my new iris the first winter in my gardens, with good soil, and this omits most of the heaving.  I've heard sand (Neil mentioned it and I know of others who use it) is good, too.  Since my soil is heavy clay, I use something like MiracleGro Garden Soil (for flowers and ornamentals) as mulch so I can just brush it off and mix it in with the soil around the iris in the spring.  I haven't found it to be much of a deterrent for varmints (like squirrels who delight in pulling out newly planted iris in the fall, then chewing on rhizomes in the early spring), but then I don't mulch until after a hard freeze.  Maybe the mulch hides the rhizomes from hungry critters during the winter, but there's not much activity in the beds from animals in mid-winter, and the rhizomes are frozen anyway.
Linda B.
Troy, MI
Zone 6a
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