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Re: building up sand for iris culture
  • Subject: Re: building up sand for iris culture
  • From: SDAyres2@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 20:10:15 -0400 (EDT)

Interesting comments about compost.  I found that in the desert, the  
organic matter  added to sandy soil will eventually go away.  I am not  sure 
where it goes.  Does it burn up, fall down through the soil or does it  get used 
up?  When I was creating new flower beds where there once was  Bermuda 
Grass in sandy soil, I would completely dig up the Bermuda Grass and put  it in 
a wheel barrow to search out the roots.   I would then fill  in the hole 
with organic debris from kitchen and garden.  I would cover up  with the soil 
mixed in with a bag of steer manures and shovels of  biosolids.  The irises 
did great initially but after 8 years many have  slowed in blooming and 
multiplying and one corner is completely bare of  blooms.  The soil is sandy once 
again.  However fertilizer 3 times a  year helps keeps them blooming.
I am experimenting with adding a product that contains a broad spectrum of  
beneficial mycorrhizae fungi and soil enzymes along with a high percentage 
of  Humic Acids.  I mixed it in late November which may have been too  late. 
 You don't fertilize when you use this stuff because the plant will  
dissociate itself from the mycorrhizae fungi.  So this spring I didn't  fertilize 
and I only saw one iris ( out of 2-3 dozen) bloom.  It was  Vanity.  The 
lady at the nursery said that the stuff really helped her soil  under the Pecan 
trees but it took a few years.  So I will continue for a  few years and 
hope it helps.  If not, I may have to revigorate the soil  again with compost 
and go back to regular fertilizer.
I find it interesting that compost is not high in humic acids.
In a message dated 6/21/2012 9:13:14 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time,  
adambo_iris@yahoo.com writes:

Eugene,  and Mary, too.

Thanks for your advice. 

Yes, I think the BEST  idea is to build up soil in a different area, and 
the clumps.   Then work on the current location.  However ... sometimes  
expectations of new growers turn the situation into negative  experiences --
that was pretty wordy, wasn't it?  I mean to say that  this particular 
might not be so enthused with irises if they're not  going to bloom.  But I 
hardly blame the irises... they need  nutrients just like we do!  None of us
live on corn chips and water...  ;-)

I'm going to start off with the diluted Miracle Gro idea ... and  try it out
myself, too! :-)  Thanks, everyone!


---  On Tue, 6/12/12, Eugene Baxley <baxleyeugene@yahoo.com>  wrote:

From: Eugene Baxley <baxleyeugene@yahoo.com>
Subject:  [iris] building up sand for iris culture
To: "iris@hort.net"  <iris@hort.net>
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 8:27 PM

Sand will not hold nutrients and it won't holdmuch water. It will  sift
right through. Sand soil needs humus added to grow iris. Humas can be  added
adding a good potting soil to the plant site or adding peat  moss. Peat moss
will hold water so it will hold some nutrients if they are  water soluble 
added through watering of the plants. Pat Moss will also  add nutrients to 
soil as it rots. You can add well rotted leaves or  well rotted horse manure
well rotted cotten hulls if available. There  are other materials that are
peculiar to any area that will do the job.  Peanut hulls are used in 
The left over mash used to make whiskey  makes good humas. All plant 
used for humas in sand or any other  soil must be aged and well rotted.
Find what is available in  your area and add some to build up the humas in
the sand before planting  the iris.
It seems to me that the person with the
sandy  soil problem needs to build up sufficient soil elsewhere then move 
iris  to the new area. Then, of course, build up the old area for future  

E.  Baxley

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