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Re: Spring potting is best

Ellen Gallagher wrote:
>         Bill S.wrote:
> >In my forthcoming book I strongly urge spring planting of most beardless
> >irises for those who live in zones 3-5.  The only possible exceptiion would
> >be the spurias, whose life cycle more closely resembles in many ways the
> >bearded irises.
>         Yes on all counts. I received a substantial order of Siberians and
>         Japanese in mid-August and was dismayed:
>         1. the bad shape the Siberians were in to begin with and soaking
>                 didn't help much. :-(
>         2. the first frost arrived less than three weeks later.. bad news
>         3. the Japanese seemed to thrive and settle in quickly much better
>                 than the Siberians which comprised the bulk of the order.
>         4. the Siberians I received from Dana Borglum in May actually
>                 *bloomed* later in the summer as well as the hemerocallis
>                 that he sent me...good healthy two-year plants.
>         Cheers,
>         Ellen (bitterly cold and windy today, brrrr)
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Ellen Gallagher  / e_galla@moose.ncia.net
> Siberian iris robin   /   sibrob@ncia.net
> Northern New Hampshire, USA / USDA Zone 3
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
	I have found that spring transplanting is a very good means of
establishing plants in New England.   The only thing that seems to be
better is potting things in the spring when they are just beginning to
grow. This allows the roots to grow much better than transplanting
directly.  I pot all beardless iris that I get in the spring and I pot
up almost 1500 plants to sell, of which, less than 1% die from
transplant shock, as opposed to the plants that I plant in August
(september planting is a death sentence here).  The root masses just
seem to be so much bigger and the percentage of fans lost is much less
as well.  Planting the potted plants to garden soil in July and August
does not result in the severity of transplant shock either.  It is
almost as if a season of growth is not lost, at least, that is what many
customers tell me.
 Andrew Wheeler

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