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Re: CULT: Advice on Feeding Iris in early season, Zone 4

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: CULT: Advice on Feeding Iris in early season, Zone 4
  • From: Patricia Wenham <prw@televar.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 21:53:12 -0600 (MDT)

Scott "Doc" Holloway wrote:
> Second time around!
>         I am not receiving AIS bulletin nor able to order a book to
> answer this question in a timely manner so I ask again.
>         My TBs are up 3-5 inches.  Should I feed them something?  
> Scott Holloway, Plattsmouth NE

I will quote from "The World of Iris" pg 315.  
We should not become so preoccupied by the beauty of the spring bloom 
that we forget the next year's bloom potential, nor relax our cultural 
efforts as soon as the bloom is past.  On established clumps including 
those to be transplanted, applications of low nitrogen fertilizer are 
called for well in advance of bloom, since it takes about 30 days for 
most fertilizers to become chemically available to the plant.  The 
developing plant needs additional nutrition and constant moisture during 
the 6 to 8 week period of active underground growth following bloom and 
again during the period of late summer growth. 

In planning a program for fertilizing irises, a chemical analysis of 
your soil is helpful.  However, a standard formula for general use is 
approximately 6-10-6.  If your supplier cannot furnish this formula you 
can combine the separate components, ammonium nitrate, superphosphate & 
potash, into a comparable formula.  Planats need all of these 3 major 
elements.  It is a mistake to starve plants of nitrogen entirely, even 
though overuse can cause soft growth and subseequent rot.  Bonemeal, 
widely & sometimes exclusively used as a source of phosphates, is not as 
readily available in sufficient quantity as superphosphate.  An excess 
of potash will not have negative results.

Use a small handful of chemical fertilizer per planat if it is to be 
worked in around or under the plant.  Use half again as much if it is to 
be scattered over the bed and worked in before planting.

I hope this helps.  

Patti Wenham USDA zone 5 where there is still very little new growth and 
the nights are twenty degrees with daytime temps as high as fifty 
degrees.  It is dry and dust is blowing here.  A couple miles away there 
was a snowstorm last week.

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