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Rot and rain in July

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Rot and rain in July
  • From: greer holland <irisdude@flash.net>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 01:35:16 -0700 (MST)

J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey wrote:
> Thanks for the insights into Oklahoma's special growing conditions. I
> noticed your signature mentioned 35 inches of rain last year. Was that
> standard rainfall for you? Torrents fell while I drove across OK in July
> and we almost drowned in OKC. I assumed at the time you were being
> subjected to unusual amounts.
> Did you notice an increase in brown rot?
> Celia Storey
> storey@aristotle.net   USDA Zone 7b  where we get more than 49 inches of
> rain normally and rot is such a problem we don't cover our rhizomes - just
> the roots.


The "normal" rainfall for OKC is 33.5 inches per year.  I checked with
NOAA on the web and we officially had 37.9 inches in 1996, 36.1 inches
in 1995.  I was close.  

The rain we receive in April through September is generally in the form
of strong thunderstorms.  Lots of rain in a short time.  

It's funny you should mention July, because it was the wettest July on
record.  It was 110 degrees F on July 4 (our local iris sale was the
next day), and then a 5-inch gully-washer came on July 10.  Could that
have been when you were passing through?
Normal rain for July is 2 inches.  We got 12.  

Brown rot.  Well, soft rot?  That foul-smelling, orange-ish mush where
the rhizome used to be?  I only lost one little piece of one cultivar
last year to rot.  LIASON.  I grow about 300 bearded cultivars.  Why so
little rot?  I dunno.  Lots of possibles here.  

Top Ten Reasons I Didn't Have Rot Last Year.  (drum roll, please.)

10. The weather was abnormally dry up until July 10  (Only 8 inches of
rain in the first    6 months of the 1995) so the irises were VERY
dormant when the rains finally came.  9. My heavy brick-red clay raised
beds were able to drain the deluges quickly.  
8. I, too, plant my rhizomes shallow with their toes peeking out. 
7. My oldest iris bed is only 5 years old and new, virgin-soil beds are
added each year.
6. I try to buy irises locally, after seeing them grow in person.
5. There are no borers in OKC.
4. Two words: Alfalfa Pellets!
3. Did you know an anagram for VICTORIA FALLS is: AS IF I'LL CAVORT?
2. What's a molliegrub?

And the number one reason I didn't have rot last year.....
1. Scorch got 'em first!

Greer Holland
central Oklahoma, zone 7, 37.9 inches of rain last year (4.4 inches
above normal)
"I'm not any kind of retentive........I just like things neat."

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