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Phyllis Semenas wrote:
> Griff
> Isn't Miracle Grow to high in nitrogen for iris?
> I've never used anything over 5%.

Hi, Phyllis -- How did your garden grow this year? Couldn't make the
Fredericksburg show this year because it was on the same day as our
Chesapeake & Potomac show.

Like you, I avoid much nitrogen on the adult irises, and for many years
have used a 6-24-24 mix. However, when the seedlings are growing for a
long time in the baked potting mix that I use, I feel that they need
some added food. So, I have given them intermittent Miracle-Gro feedings
for several years with no observed ill effects.

On the subject of nutrients, however, the foliage growth and size of
bloom was astonishing this spring, after feeding the beds with Rabbit
Chow when they were established last July and August, and again in
February.  Some of my older seedlings have also had surprisingly long
bloom periods. Of course, it has also been super-wet, but we'll see what
happens again next year when the weather may be (PLEASE) a little more

Don Spoon (Winterberry Gardens) took Best Seedling at the C&P show with
a startling, variegated TB -- white base with swirls of dark raspberry.
Looks good enough to eat. One of my seedlings, a delicate light lavender
with 9 buds, took a blue ribbon. Another of my seedlings, however,
received many more comments from other exhibitors than the one that took
the blue. This is a rose lavender of lovely color and overall form which
has, alas, only four buds (as the judges rightly noted). This is a
first-year seedling, so one may hope for better bud count next year.

Griff Crump, along the tidal Potomac near Mount Vernon, VA 

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