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RE: HYB:Borers

It is my experience that the better the spreading
job and the twice a year application makes all the
difference.  I use a Scott's grass seed spreader
and I spread the control in a pattern both ways,
the length of the garden and then I come back
cross wise.  I try to do this after a rain.  It
seems to work better and I am sure because the
ground is damp the material does not blow away as
readily.  It took to the second year to be
completely free of the critters.

I agree with you that it appears some of the iris
are untastey to the critters.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-iris@hort.net
[mailto:owner-iris@hort.net] On Behalf Of Neil A
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:05 PM
To: Iris-talk
Subject: [iris] HYB:Borers

Tom's and Char's comments about borers prompted a
few thoughts.

Because of my numerous medical (mis-)adventures
over the past three and a half years I seem to
have built up a monumental population of the
critters. I thought I'd put on enough Merit to
control--and the area treated did have fewer than
the untreated areas.  It was by no means
borer-free, however.

I also noted, as has been commented upon in the
past, that there seem to be more borer attacks
under overhanging plants.  I did some drastic
pruning this summer as a result of this

Among the seedlings, sadly not treated, the losses
are horrendous.  Even some small ones still in
their germination cans were hit and died after the
foundation under the foliage was devoured.

Some seedlings, however, are thriving.  Could they
be borer resistant?  I've seen it proposed that
those of us in borer country let the buggers have
at it in the seedlings, and breed from the
survivors.  I seem to be doing so by accident
rather than purpose, but I'll take what I get.  I
don't have any choice in the matter, since the
damage is done (or being done).

The small, hard rhizomes of the diploid MTB's may
have their relative resistance due as much to size
as to flavor or other resistance factors. There
are TB's that are just as healthy--a fact worthy
of note.  If there is resistance out there, this
is one (sad) way to discover it.

My daughter, son-in-law and I dug out over a
hundred borers in a few rows in reselect seedlings
and best named things, but ran out of steam and
time before getting any farther.  Even so, I see
some fans down in the area we thought clean.  We
missed some.

Tom, the borer doesn't start out big and pink.
They are quite tiny when they first start in, and
in those we dug out of fans that weekend the kids
were here were all sizes.  Apparently the borers
hatch over a period of time.  The typical ones
were about as thick as a pencil line, and not over
a half-inch long.  Some were quite a bit larger,
some we never did find, but did eliminate simply
by slicing off the fan below the area damaged.

I cringe everytime I look at the "garden."  It is
a wasteland, and my temptation is simply to dig
out the worst affected areas, sort out the
surviving fragments of irises and replant them
after a thorough inspection and cleaning.  I
haven't the energy to start such a project right
now--only two weeks out from under three surgical
procedures back-to-back.  I feel great as long as
I don't *do* anything.

Even "lurking" on Iris-talk has been a slow
process to initiate.  By now I've read all or most
of the posts I'd missed, I think, and found the
threads quite interesting--in small doses.  I read
a few each day.  Catching up on e-mail is just as
slow.  Walking down to the mailbox to check if the
*Bulletin* has come yet does motivate me, a
little.  It's the walk *back* that is a challenge.

Neil Mogensen  z 7, Reg. 4   mountains of western

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