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Re: Debbie Rairdon

I still have not found the article in the Bulletin about Debbie Rairdon.
It must be before 1982, when my present collectionoif Bulletins begins (I
once had them back to 1951, but somewhere along the way that collection got
dumped, so I now only have those printed since I re-joined AIS).  Any help
would still be appreciated.  I recall that the article featured a
photograph of the lady who originated the variety, which was named after a

The article on Schreiner's did turn up--it's in October 1987.  If any of
you are interested, here are some hightlights:

1. They have over 200 acres of iris.  Plants are replanted annually by
machine in rows 42 inches apart, with the plants 12 inches apart in the

2. Everything is mulched with 4 inches of soil in the winter.

3. Four different pre-emergent herbicides are used to control weeds.
Perennial weeds are hoed out by hand (!).

4. Iris are grown only every third year in any one field.  Legumes and
grass crops (beans and wheat) are alternated and all crop residue is turned
under to increase organic matter content of the soil.  Ferilizers used are
mainly K and PO4, as indicated by regular soil testing.  N fertilizers are
rarely used, perhaps lightly once a year.  pH is adjusted as needed with
lime.  They have found that 6.8 is the ideal pH for bearded irises.

5.  Systemic insecticides control insects.  Dimethoate-containing products
are favored.

6. Four fungicides are alternated to prevent resistance from developing
among fungal strains.  The big problem is leaf spot, which in wet weather
can be calamitous.

Best wishes, Bill
William A. Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 USA
phone (804) 223-6172
FAX (804) 223-6374

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