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Re: CULT: planting in pots

My experiences with starting in pots:
Depending on how cold it gets, potted irises can be unpotted (not
disturbing the mass of soil and roots) and set into the ground any time
of year there is enough moisture in the ground and the soil isn't frozen
solid.  In my climate, the ground doesn't usually freeze until January,
and some winters doesn't freeze at all.  As long as the plants are big
enough and have established a good root system in the pot (which some
cultivars are incapable of doing), they don't frost heave here.

This year and last, soil moisture was much too low to plant until after
it turned cold.  Last year, I waited for the rains, which weren't enough
to really wet things down till November, and lost a few small (tiny)
seedling transplants to frost heaving.  This year, I planted when the
temperatures cooled (September/October), watered when I planted them,
and lightly mulched with leaves and/or small leafy branches.  This
worked a lot better for me, but I am lucky in having a gravelly soil
that is fairly easy to knock planting holes in with a grub hoe even when
dry.  Baked clay would be impossible.

So, it's a trade off between adequate moisture, diggability, and
temperature extremes as to whether you should leave them in the pots and
mulch or set them out.

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8

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