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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.

Celia,

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 LIST
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
irisdude@flash.net
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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