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Re: CULT: Watering During Summer in Hot Climates?

There are differing opinions here in the hot desert southwest.    Iris will 
go dormant if they go completely dry.  In our very hot, dry  climate, they will 
start to dehydrate and shrivel.  Then, when our summer  rains start, they 
often rot before establishing new roots to use the  moisture.
My theory is that, if they do not go dormant, they will utilize the  moisture 
& will not rot. 
I water thoroughly twice a week, year round, using drip irrigation.  I  set 
the timer to water very early in the morning, when the ground is  coolest.   
There is rarely enough rain to let me turn off the drip system.  If we  do 
get heavy thunderstorms in the summer, I will hold off irrigation until the  top 
of the soil drys out.  Constant moisture in our heat will definitely  promote 
In areas where the summers are both humid, wet and hot, I would  recommend to 
be sure the irises be planted where there is excellent  drainage.  Then, 
water only during dry spells, just to make sure the irises  don't go into dormancy.
Keeping a close watch for rot & treating it promptly is important, as  is 
being careful with soil amendments like manure, which must be kept away from  the 
rhizomes. I never fertilize during the hottest months for this  reason.
 Keeping old leaves and debris away from the rhizomes, so that they  have 
good air circulation and can dry out between waterings is also  important.
Kathy Chilton
Tucson, AZ 
Zone 8/9 (where it hit 112 this week)

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