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Re: REF: help - ideas?

The voice is right, but not the source.

Rumor has it that dense weeds, and in my experience, perennial grass do
seem to keep down bacterial and fungal leaf spot(s).  I've never
believed the soil splash explanation though.  Fungal spores and bacteria
are able to blow around in the air in abundance without being splashed.
Ask anybody with mold allergy.

I think dense weeds/grass provide some protection from late winter/early
spring freeze damage (iris are shaded so are slower to initiate spring
growth), are intense competitors for nitrogen, starving irises & keeping
down lush growth, shade the soil, keeping it cool in hot weather, slurp
up heavy rainfall, help aerate siol thru dead & dying roots, etc etc,
generally making foliage less susceptible to disease.

Unfortunately, those slower growing plants usually don't bloom as well
as the rampant, lush, well tended ones.  Unless the exposed ones get
damaged by late freezes.

I strive for something in between those extremes.

<..how the ornamental stuff in
                   the beds kept the dirt from splashing and hence
minimized soil-borne disease.
                   I must have been hearing that unreliable little voice
                   Anner Whitehead>

Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>

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