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CULT: Pot Culture (no, it's not what you think!)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: Pot Culture (no, it's not what you think!)
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@icx.net>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 07:57:23 -0700 (MST)

Bill Shear wrote:
> But I recall reading about some
> people on the list potting up TB rhizomes as soon as they arrive, and later
> planting them in the ground.  What gives?  What are the circumstances under
> which YOU would pot up an iris?

I had never thought of potting TBs until Walter Moores suggested it last
summer, and having tried it once, I will ALWAYS try to handle them this
way from now on.  The 'ideal' time to set out new TBs, according to
discussions we heard here in '96, is after they 'finish' the growth of
new increases, which around here is late June/early July.  Only problem
is that it is hottern' all get out in mid-summer and we often go for a
month or more with no rain.  My 'garden' is in full sun, and I am not
set up to irrigate.  It doesn't really cool off (high temps below
90oF)and start raining RELIABLY until late September, which really
doesn't give time for new TBs to settle in - for instance last fall, we
hit a few nights of 10oF in November.  

So these poor rhizomes have been getting planted here any time from July
- early September, getting watered at planting time, and hit or miss
depending on the weather, getting cooked.  Admittedly, this has been a
handy screening method for getting rid of the weaklings.

Advantages of potting - I can put better soil in the pots than I have in
my garden, put them in partial (high) shade, and water as needed (nearer
the house, hose, and creek).  As the roots came out the bottoms of the
pots, I transferred them to the garden rows where they kept on growing. 
It's going to be interesting to see how rate of new root growth (as
indicated by position in the row) is related to subsequent bloom and

This method of handling is MUCH easier on the gardener and seems to get
the plants off to a better start.  

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA

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