Re: OT: Introduction
I agree with Griff. I've used Mushroom Compost in my own garden with great
I have to say that I have also stepped "outside of the box" and I use a VERY
rich compost that contains manure. ***I say that while watching everyone
cringe*** HOWEVER, I dig this deep into the soil so the iris have to send
roots down far enough to reach the richness.
I personally have never had any rot problems associated with using this. I
never place it in direct contact with the iris and I also add other "goodies"
to my beds such as Alfalfa pellets, Chicken Manure, and 10-10-10. Again, I
must stress, I dig ALL of this into my bed deeply.
I am rewarded with very healthy plants that always bloom nicely. I've never
had issues with iris having too much lush growth and no bloom stalks.
To protect the innocent, I have a friend that once used treated sewage that
was double dug down into his beds. He had the MOST BEAUTIFUL iris I had ever
laid my eyes on. Unfortunately, that product is no longer available. We
have since then found a resource for fresh horse manure. The caution of using
this is that it really needs to age a year before use because it is so very
"hot." Therefore, once again, if we need to use it quickly because bed
preparation is underway, then it is always dug VERY DEEPLY under the bed. (double
I don't know if "double dug" is a correct term, but it refers to tilling the
soil as deep as the tiller will take you, then pull that dirt out and then
put your tiller back into the bed and dig again. This is the area in which we
place the plant's yummylicious diet.
Many folks talk about using little nitrogen. I agree to an extent that high
levels of nitrogen can be very detrimental to bearded iris in general.
However, from growing up on a farm and raising all sorts of different things, I
feel that all plants need good nutrition to produce to their fullest
potential. The drawback with lots of nitrogen is that you get the fast and soft
growth and little bloom in return. However, when it's dug deep, then it's not
like throwing it right on top of them or barely scratching it in. I let the
iris "search" for it which seems to be my magic secret that people want to know
because my plants are always so very healthy and my bloom seasons are always
one large bouquet. I have also found that different cultivars will respond
differently. Some will grow to their full potential with beautiful branching
and good bud count while others will "over-grow" producing stalks that are
WAY outside the norm for the cultivar. I saw a stalk at our local show this
year that was at least 4 ft tall and more branches than any tree out in the
woods! It was amazing, but really overgrown.
As for my suggestion to you....experiment. Since this is new to you, I
wouldn't suggest using my method over your entire garden. Experiment a little to
see what works best in your area. I'm sure I'd have more rot issues if I
were in an area that was inundated with lots of rain and an over abundance of
moisture. I have never implemented a new idea on an entire garden at one
time. For a couple of reasons. First, I don't want to jeopardize my entire
garden due to bad judgement. Also, without a "control" group, I can't tell what
results I get from anything new.
You will find through trial and error that iris are pretty tough creatures
for the most part. Of course, there are some that are much more "tender" than
others. However, they provide lots of enjoyment for you and those who
Enjoy and Best of Luck - Keep us posted on your results! I always tell
folks, don't try to make all mistakes by yourself, because life is too short.
Learn from others, take what you like, and nix those things you don't like.
Through careful planning and perseverance, you will find the formula that
works best for you!
Southern Middle Tennessee
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