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CULT: Planting in Missouri


     The answer below is in response to the question concerning planting TB 
Irises in Missouri.  I hope it helps.

<< We live in central or east-central Missouri and the best time to plant
 purchased rhizomes is July or August, depending on heat, rainfall and
 humidity.  Its too bad that the conditions that are unfavorable to human
 comfort are favorable for iris growth!  If you do not finish planting by the
 end of August, you risk heaving over the winter as the ground freezes and
 thaws and just plain not having enough time to establish to winter over.  On
 the other hand, if you are dividing plants from your own garden or just
 moving a clump from one garden to the other, you can do it anytime the
 ground isn't frozen solid!  I have found that a sure fire way to keep things
 from heaving in the winter even from a late planting (we plant clear into
 November) is to cover it with clean course river sand.  River sand is heavy
 and won't let the plant heave and it doesn't contain soil so won't cause
 nasty rot in the spring if you aren't quick enough to remove it.  I use a
 shovelfull and put it on so that it forms a mound on the plant.  I don't
 smooth it level, because  a mound will drain excess water better and absorb
 less of it.  Then, in the spring, I smooth it away little by little as the
 weather warms.  I can always mound it back on if the weather turns nasty a
 few days, which it usually does.  I have also learned that covering the
 rhizome tops that stick up above the dirt prevents cracks from winter sun
 and subsequent rot.  >>

Forwarded by:

Mark A. Cook
BigAlligator@aol.com
Dunnellon, Florida.         [cloudy darn it]



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Dear Mark,

We live in central or east-central Missouri and the best time to plant
purchased rhizomes is July or August, depending on heat, rainfall and
humidity.  Its too bad that the conditions that are unfavorable to human
comfort are favorable for iris growth!  If you do not finish planting by the
end of August, you risk heaving over the winter as the ground freezes and
thaws and just plain not having enough time to establish to winter over.  On
the other hand, if you are dividing plants from your own garden or just
moving a clump from one garden to the other, you can do it anytime the
ground isn't frozen solid!  I have found that a sure fire way to keep things
from heaving in the winter even from a late planting (we plant clear into
November) is to cover it with clean course river sand.  River sand is heavy
and won't let the plant heave and it doesn't contain soil so won't cause
nasty rot in the spring if you aren't quick enough to remove it.  I use a
shovelfull and put it on so that it forms a mound on the plant.  I don't
smooth it level, because  a mound will drain excess water better and absorb
less of it.  Then, in the spring, I smooth it away little by little as the
weather warms.  I can always mound it back on if the weather turns nasty a
few days, which it usually does.  I have also learned that covering the
rhizome tops that stick up above the dirt prevents cracks from winter sun
and subsequent rot.  Hope this helps your friend in Missouri, Mark!

Thank you for the Florida sites to visit, Mark!  I enjoyed reading about the
azaleas.  We have three mini azaleas called Hilda Nisbitt.  They are very
dwarf and are evergreen, although the leaves do change to a bronzy red in
fall and winter.  The flowers are a mix; some are pink some are white.
There are three of them to the front of a border of arilbreds right beneath
our bay window in the living room.  They are a good companion to the irises.
The bed is raised and mulches with multi-colored, smooth river stones.

I hope you have a great Christmas week, Mark!

Your Iris Friend,

Steffie


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