Moth Balls and Organic Soap Box
All this talk about moth balls reminds me of my grandmother's closets.
However, I believe that moth balls are composed of naphthalene or some
derivative thereof. I started to ask if they would repel the moths that lay
the eggs that become iris borers, but then I began to question whether they
are a repellent or just sudden death for moths in household closets. That
is, closets are usually kept closed so that a high concentration of
naphthalene could build up, creating a toxic atmosphere for any moth (or
human!) that enters. I'm just thankful that I don't have very many pest
problems, as my garden is a young one.
(warning- soap box monologue)
I believe that once one gets started with the arsenal of gardening chemicals
it's difficult to stop without being at the mercy of very vengeful garden
Organic means of pest control are not usually 100% control as with
chemicals, but you will probably live longer to enjoy your garden if you
keep chemical use to a minimum.
I've heard that pest problems become magnified with monocultures(growing
only one type of plant or crop). Maybe that's a good reason to plant a
variety of perennials in with your irises. Some of the herbs repel insect
pests and many herbs appear to have similar growing conditions to tall
bearded irises, preferring drier more alkaline soils. I'm planning to try a
carpet of thyme under some MDB's. Even if thyme doesn't repel pests, it sure
strangles the weeds out and it looks and smells better than moth balls.
Anyone else have any recommendations on companion plants for irises or
organic means of pest control with irises?