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Re: Results of improved care this year

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Results of improved care this year
  • From: doris1434@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 00:01:14 EDT

In a message dated 6/15/2001 6:34:38 PM Mountain Daylight Time, 
lmmunro@hotmail.com writes:

> I'm happy to report (and I want to tell the world) that last year, 
> after deciding I really liked iris, took alot better care of whatever 
> unknowns and Mart iris were already growing from pre 2000. (cause 
> only one big tough Alcazar bloomed in 2000)
> Well, fertilizer, weeding, and constantly babying them, PAID OFF BIG. 
> Stuff that hasn't bloomed for years, some that never bloomed, 
> suddenly was full of blooms.
> Some were so full, they fell over.
> Is this natural? I staked them, but should I expect this??
       Well. . .I'm certainly not an expert by any stretch of the 
imagination. My experience is based on growing some lovely, stately, healthy 
iris in both NM and Arkansas - two totally different climates. As a rank 
beginner, I won Queen and runner up with iris that had stems so thick we had 
to shave them to fit into the vases for the show - and they were OLD iris. 
The ONLY fertilizer I have ever used was rabbit manure compost, compost 
"tea," and fish emulsion occasionally as a foliar spray. My beds were 
prepared before hand using as much compost as I could manage, a good dose of 
peat, some green sand and soft rock phosphate. (forget the peat unless you 
have really alkaline soil and if you have good water retentive soil). Please 
know that these are generalities. . this is NOT chisled in stone. Climates 
and soils differ so much. . . I fought Bermuda grass with a vengence. . while 
I'm as organic as I can manage, I DO use commercial strength Roundup 
judiciously around my iris, protecting them with a manila folder or piece of 
cardboard as I spray. I also color my Roundup with a horticultural dye 
(Purple/red) so I can clearly see where I've sprayed. I kept my beds 
virtually weed free. . but that's not to say it has to be that extreme! I 
kept my beds CLEAN. I "groomed" my iris every couple days. This kept me in 
touch and aware with potential problems. . ..(and I think the iris like being 
fussed with - I think they do better).
       I have always lightly mulched my beds with grass clippings. . I have 
NEVER used any commercial fertilizer but again, that's not to say it 
shouldn't be used. I'm just more comfortable with compost, "tea," and fish or 
a sea-weed based fertilizer. 
       Hope this helps!!

Doris Elevier, El Paso, TX Zone 7, AHS 9-10 Hot, dry, AND windy.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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