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Re: CULT: Siberian growing methods

From: GWhite & LRader <bentfork@navix.net>

Chris Hollinshead wrote:

> "From: "Chris Hollinshead" <cris@netcom.ca>
> I'm sure many would love to hear the details of Gary White's successful
> Siberian growing methods...can you fill us in?"

Thanks to all for the nice welcome and especially to Leslie Jobe for the
kind words.  We here in Region 21 miss Leslie and Wayne, but its nice to
hear from you on Iris-Talk.
    As for growing siberians, I was used to growing them in the east in West
Virginia and just tried to adjust to the soil and weather in Nebraska.  I
dug new beds and tilled in copious amounts of peat moss and other compost.
This is important in the heavy clay soil in southeast Nebraska.  I planted
the siberians (as well as Japanese, I. versicolor, and Louisianas) and
followed this with a one inch layer of compost on top of the soil and around
the plants.  At this point I placed soaker hoses through the beds, and
finally covered all this with a 2 to 3 inch layer of wood chips (obtained
from the city for free).  I think the combination of  looser soil, plenty of
compost, acidic pH,  and frequent watering makes the difference in this
climate.  Also, the beds with some of the best growth and bloom were in
light afternoon shade.  All of this is important here in Nebraska because of
the nearly constant wind which is very dehydrating, especially during very
hot summers (A couple of years ago, we had over 60 days with daily high
temps over 90 degrees) and sometimes with no rain for a few  weeks.  I also
have used well rotted manure in some beardless beds when first preparing the
bed or in refurbishing them.  Horse manure is very good and I use it when I
can get it, but one of our iris club members raises llamas and gave me a
truckload of manure.   I dug it into 2 beds and they are doing really well.
Even though it is old, rotted manure, I still try to get it dug in as deep
as possible and let the roots go down to it.
     That's how I try to treat all of my beardless irises (as well as
daylilies), but I now have several beds that are really begging to be
re-worked.  I'm trying to get to some of  the daylily beds this spring, but
the others will wait till later in the summer.  I would be interested in
hearing about variations on siberian (and japanese) iris culture from any of
you out there.

Gary White,
Lincoln, Nebraska,  where we're due for several days of blustery, raw,
colder weather and possibly even light snow.  Now, I'm glad I don't have any
bloomstalks yet.

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