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Re: CULT: Display bed spacing

From: celia storey <storey@aristotle.net>

Martha, for several years clumps in the CAIS State Capitol beds were
planted 1.5 feet apart, and there were four rows to a bed that was 7 feet
wide. That was much, much too close together, even for plants destined to
be dug and thinned annually.

Leaf spot would get out of hand too easily, and we had a problem with TB
clumps running into one another -- in one year.

Last year we reorganized everything, planting only three rows in those
7-foot-wide beds. Lengthwise, each cultivar was placed more than 2 feet
apart. I can't remember offhand the exact spacing. It was 2 feet and some
fraction, maybe 2 feet, 7 inches.

Looking at the beds this winter, we decided to space some of our bigger TBs
even farther apart.  Air circulation makes a noticeable difference in
overall health of the planting.

From our experience, I would recommend that you think primarily about how
healthy you can make your plants rather than how many plants can be crammed
into a given planting. This seems like common sense to practiced gardeners,
but believe me, when one is looking at the diversity of bearded irises one
wishes to represent, and the understandable desire of some members to
include every AM winner or at least every Dykes winner -- and all those
hybridized by local folks -- the numbers can skyrocket.

Good luck!

Little Rock, Arkansas, USDA Zone 7b
257 feet above sea level, Little Rock soils are often acid, sandy loam, rocky
average rainfall about 49 inches (more than 60" in '97, but less than 42"
in '98)
High humidity, moderate winters, hot summers; but conditions seesaw
Extreme recorded temps: HI 110 F, LO -13 F

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