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TB's & SDB's: culture; bloom


The joy of my first SDB's beginning to bloom is somewhat tarnished today at the discovery of soft rot in many of my TB's.  My soil is clay, which I've amended with coarse sand and well-aged store bought humus and compost mix.I try to keep the rhizomes raised and at least partially exposed.  I seem to remember this happening every spring - with the advent of cool, wet weather (which we have now).  The rot hits a single fan - or rhizome, not the entire clump, but it's dismaying to find it on so many cultivars. Also, suddenly I see leafspot - I sprayed last Monday with Daconil, but it's already looking pretty entrenched, and I think may be contributing to the rot on some cv's. I scrape and treat...and hope for the sun to dry and heal.  From outside the beds, the iris, for the most part, look green and healthy!  Guess I'm just wondering if this is just a hazard of growing iris in anything but dryer conditions.  I suppose I should try leaving the rot and seeing what's left without my interference...? (I'm afraid it might really shrink my garden.)  I think my soil may still be too heavy, and it seems to be the rhizomes that have sunk a little which are showing rot.  On the brighter side - this is my first year for SDB's.  Giggler (Spoon) was the first to bloom - with four stalks and two buds each.  It's lovely - all petals are a pale, pearly lavender with BRIGHT lavender beards - standard midribs and spot on falls are greenish yellow.  And it's a rebloomer, too!  The next to open was Leprechaun's Delight.  Larger and taller than Giggler - it's interesting to see the difference in bloomstalk heights among SDB's.  Guess it's more noticable among the little guys. ;-)  Many more are ready to bloom...Dot Com, Minidragon, Elephant Footprint, Kit Fox, Break Yolk, Counting Sheep, Little Blue Eyes, Gumby, Auroralita (although I had to remove the fan with the stalk and treat for rot - the only SDB) and many more  - what fun they are! IB's and BB's showing bloomstalks are Signet Ring and Gnu Rays (most vigorous cv. in my garden)

; first bloomstalks to show on TB's are Florentina, Raspberry Frost, Suky and Stepping Out.   There probably are more but we have high winds and it's only in the 50's...brrrrrr, I'd rather be inside for once! Linda Troy, M  Region 6, Zone 6a16 miles north of Detroit   
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