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Re: Re: CULT: Transplanting Irises- Have Fun

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Re: CULT: Transplanting Irises- Have Fun
  • From: RYFigge@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 11:13:00 EDT

O'K' everybody!  Now that you have heard from all the experts (Paul, 
Wendy,Walter, etc - who did my  aging memory leave out? Ha!)  Anyhow,  Years 
and years ago, my children, when once upon a time, our Iris Chapter had the 
temerity and bravery to have Ben Hager as our speaker.  You all realize, I 
hope that he was on the Pacific Coast and we were/are on the Atlantic Coast, 
so this was a big expense for us - but we all worshipped Ben.  ONE of his 
words of wisdom was:  The best times to transplant is immediately AFTER bloom 
before the irises have gathered  their skirts to their bosom and gone a 
little dormant - OR - wait about 6 weeks when the irises are beginning to 
recover and are ready for the next onslaught!
    Other less prestigious and unremembered-named advisors suggested doing 
whatever you wanted to do with irises whenever you wanted to do it.  That 
advice I mix in with Ben's (of course I'm not a hybridizer, didn't think I'd 
live long enough to see the results -- nor am I commercial, so if my original 
methods don't work out, it is not an unretrievable disaster)  This is why I 
draw the parallel to how careful you are with the first born, and how you 
really relax and have nmore fun with those that come after!  I thoroly 
encourage that irises are to be enjoyed - but not become a slave to!

I also remember Ben telling me that he shaved off all the roots!  I was 
horrified at the thought! Talk about shock!  I forget the reason, Maybe Sid 
would know - was it about nematodes?  Anyhow, I'm glad I didn't know about  
damaging  the roots by trimming! The roots were not cut off the irises 
Melrose shipped.   It is a lot of trouble to dig a hole big enough, wide 
enough to place 14" roots in the ground AND it takes a lot of time!  So - 
what does Rosalie do?  Don't worry!  They grew/grow o,.k.   I grab the roots 
close to the rhizome and cut them off about an inch below where they extend 
beyond my fist/hand.  THAT makes them more manageable - also - remember back 
in my mother's day - nearly a century ago! -- every August all irises were 
cut back to  6 inches.  Then that became passe' - after all the leaves give 
the nutrients too.  But then there was the big movement to clean away all the 
dead leaves from the rhizome so there would be no  handy place for the borer 
to lay those damaging  eggs - at least when hatched!   And then you were 
advised to clean away the dead leaves again in the Spring to get rid of those 
eggs.  So to make life a little easier and less leaves to die to be cleaned 
up - just before frost, I try to cut the leaves to about 6 or 8 inches on all 
the irises! 11111!  And I cut the outer leaves on each side of the fan even 
shorter - they are the ones to die first,  I have cut back so I now have only 
about 6oo variety and that is a lot to cover at the last minute of possible 
growth - and I realize   large gardens couldn;t do that without a platoon of 
`The gist of all this, Tom, is absorb all the advices and use what works for 
you, the most important thing is not to let your irises be a burden -- but 
ENJOY them!!Rosalie near Baltimore,USA  zone 7 with a rainy weekend and no 
garden work - ugh, that means housework!  ryfigge@aol.com


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