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Iris Experiment

Christopher Hollinshead asked:

>  1. In this particular instance, what are the pros and cons for clay pots
>  verses plastic pots?

I've used both successfully.  Clay is more durable.  Plastic is lighter weight.
I'd be more concerned about using only a 6" pot for that long.  When I've
planted TBs in 6" pots like you propose, they were already rootbound when
transplanted a little over two months later.

>  2. What would be YOUR recommendation for the potting mixture
>  composition? (obviously one criteria should be good/excellent drainage)
>  The back of Schreiners 1996 catalogue gives a potting mixture of 45%
>  firbark, 20% pumice and 35% peat moss. What about a mix of vermiculite
>  and perlite and peat moss?

I found that 100% potting soil induced rot, but a half-and-half mixture of
potting soil and sandy garden soil has worked well.

>  3. I am also considering storing the potted iris over the winter in a
>  basement cold room that I have. It would be warmer there than the garage
>  and they would probably not freeze(but close to it-low 30 degrees F-high
>  20's) This room is in total darkness most of the time, but then so is
>  the garage. Anybody got any thoughts on this?

Cold and dark didn't  work for me.  A cold room has definitely worked better
than a heated one, but setting up grolights on timers was the real key.   

Sharon McAllister (73372.1745@compuserve.com)

Christopher Hollinshead
Mississauga, Ontario  Canada  zone6b
Director, Canadian Iris Society
Newsletter Editor, Canadian Iris Society
e-mail: cris@netcom.ca

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