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CULT: burning

Experimented a bit with burning irises yesterday.  Not enough fuel in
the recent plantings to carry a fire, but some of the older clumps,
especially of my seedlings, which don't get as much attention, burned

I was surprised to see that the plastic labels don't necessarily melt
and catch on fire.  Ones that were flat on the ground were undamaged.
Only those that were really surrounded by dry, dead stuff melted/caught
fire.  All my plants are triple labeled with small vinyl venetian blind
pieces - one tag face down under a rock, one vertically in the ground
with about an inch or two above ground, one about the same size hung
from a wire stake.

Since the wire ones seemed to be the only ones at risk, I just walked
ahead of the fire line, pulling the stakes, sticking them in the ground
to one side, then putting them back as soon as the fire moved thru.

I was <not> using the propane torch.  Just matches at first, then a
stick dipped in gasoline, then a piece of commercial 'Fire Starter'
(paraffin saturated pressed sawdust/wood chip/newspaper "sticks") wired
to the end of a stick, which worked extremely well.

Based on what you all have told me about life cycle of borers, these
late spring freezes that do so much damage to iris foliage may be why
I've never seen iris borers until last year, the first year they had
anything to eat!

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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