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Re: Freaks -- Weather Damage, 1st time bloom

In a message dated 96-05-30 19:11:55 EDT, you write:

>>I agree with this observation. Iris growers as a group seem irrationally
>>determined to blame every cultural or environmental problem on the
>>cultivar that happens to be victim to it once or twice

Well, I can't stay out of this discussion...I hardly see the growers on this
list being 'irrationally determined' as far as blame goes.  Some of us do
seem to be highly irrationally determined to grow iris where they clearly do
not want to be.  And I don't think we blame the cultivar, just recognize that
it doesn't hold up to the climate and growing conditions we live with every
year.  In particular, I get very frustrated with not being able to find
varieties that will tolerate me and my garden.  

I agree with Sharon's comments about the degree and type of damage being
dependent on the stage of growth.  Thanks to all the discussions on this
list, I now am positive (without buying a freeze chamber to collect data for
statistical comparisons, Tom) that most of the rot problems I get result from
cold injury (warms up, plants start to grow, freezes, tissue injured, rot
starts, and it rains and rains and rains).

So, in my garden, it rarely gets below 20o in April, but it usually does at
least once in March.  I have observed (no statistics, Tom) that Early and EM
season bloomers do not bloom, unless covered, if it gets below the low 20s in
March.  If it gets that low in April, the Ms get zapped and (I learned this
year) bloom stalks of MLs will be affected if it happens late enough.  In
Sharon's garden, it sounds like those hard freezes can happen any time during
the bloom season.  Our temperature fluctuations are a little more graded, and
the longer days later in the season helps keep it from staying as cold for as
long a period of time so damage is less severe.

HOWEVER - one factor that I think is really important in varietal sensitivity
to cold injury is how fast a variety responds to warming temperatures - and
the interaction of that with how fast a variety responds to lengthening days
- those that respond quickly are more likely to be injured and the injury
seems to be more severe.

Then there is (are?) the molliegrubs - scorch? - which seems to be a random
event, but seems to never affect some varieties and always others (to a
greater or lesser extent).

And how does overall growth rate and duration of growth (vigor) fit into all
of this?  Surely everyone has had the experience that some varieties outgrow
others - seems to me that those that grow like weeds could either be more
sensitive to injury because they are such 'eager' growers, or less sensitive
because they compensate for it by using all that energy for repair.

Carolyn - I have had some varieties bloom for the first time this year too -
if summer drought followed by severe winter and late freezes is what it
takes, I don't like it.

Linda Mann lmann76543@aol.com east Tennessee usa

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