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Re: mulching and organic matter

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: mulching and organic matter
  • From: CEMahan@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 16:13:52 -0700 (MST)

In a message dated 97-02-10 15:31:49 EST, you write:

<< The best TB rhizomes I have ever seen were growing in a black soil derived
 from the muck of a drained bog in central Ohio!   The soil had been heavily
 amended with limestone to adjust the pH.  I think that like all plants, TBs
 do well in soils of a moderately balanced fertility, which is what you get
 when you use organic matter.  Another excellent soi for TBs appears to be
 sandy loam derived from river flooding. >>

The late Henry Mitchell, the great gardener and even greater writer on
gardening, loved irises, especially those that were popular in the 30's, 40's
and 50's.  His favorite TB was STARSHINE.  He once told me that the best tall
bearded irises he had ever seen growing were back in his native Tennessee.
 (In fact, I recall him telling me this same story several time---but with
Henry one never tired of hearing the same story several times!) 

He said when he was growing up it was common for iris growers to use vast
amounts of sugar cane debris and horse manue to amend the soil.  He insisted
that rot was never a big problem, and the irises grew and performed better
than one might think possible. Clarence Mahan in VA

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