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From: "Jan Clark" <janclarx@hotmail.com>

>Does anyone else spinkle lime on their iris twice a year? I have >gotten 
>into the habit of doing so which seems to enhance the color. >Someone 
>mentioned I needed to watch my ph but our soil here in >Missouri is 
>natually acid so I don't think 3 - 4 years will change >the ph all that 
>Jim Loveland, Fenton, MO Zone 5

I do in parts of my garden Jim. If the irises are going well, and if certain 
of the annual seeds are self seeding happily (Queen Annes lace for instance) 
I only give 1 application. Like your's my soil is naturally acid, but it is 
also extremely poor, and I introduce so much soil, manure, compost, etc that 
I would have to test a lot of different places, frequently, to know exactly 
how the pH is going. If things are looking poorly, I give extra lime, but I 
also fertilise, cultivate, dig up irises and add more soil and replant them, 
etc, etc.

I think a lot of stuff is instinctive, after years of gardening. I'm feeling 
rather smug at present, because, after 9 years of living here I finely got 
my first spring mowing in on time. I was almost to the point of panic on 
Sunday - desperate to get a-mowing, and it was a wonderful clear day, with 
the plum trees just opening their bloom. I mowed for 2 hours, and regained 
control of the grass in the orchard. Sure enough, the spring rains came this 
week - wonderful persistant rain. enough rain to grow the knee high grass I 
mowed on Sunday, to shoulder high, and wet the soil so there would be no 
hope of me getting it cut without a slasher. My instincts were correct!

Cheers, Jan Clark, in Australia, where the stalks are starting to thicken at 
the base of the SDB's and MOUNTAIN VIOLET has a stem 10" high.

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