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re: Changing the "Rules"

In a message dated 98-05-28 12:20:16 EDT, you write:

>Rather than look at individual "rules", has anyone done a serious =
>comparision of conditions in regard to the needs of the plants? Would a =
>sliding scale of sorts, taking a more holistic approach for cultivation, =
>work better than hard and fast rules?

I think this is an INTERESTING concept!  This is what this list does best...
inspire folks to think outside the box.

The rule here in the northeast is that you plant irises (bearded irises, that
is) with the top 1/3 of the rhizome showing.  You provide excellent air
circulation to avoid rot.  You do not dig until late July.

This is what I've noticed in my own garden..... that the irises buried in the
forget-me-nots (NO air circulation... equivalent of mulch), are blooming fine
and  not rotting.  True - this could be a happy coincidence of cultivar and
circumstance.... but it makes me wonder about the "rules".

A man I know who grows few irises - but in a mono-culture and each one a show
stalk - buries his rhizomes under 1/2 inch of loose soil.  

Another man I know has an iris business and has for years.  He digs up irises
in full bloom - and I have to believe that if they resented the treatment, his
business would be suffering (instead, they come in by the busload).

SO, as Christy points out.... it may be our climate and how the irises respond
to our climate.  So maybe the 'rules' have been made generic to cover a
multitude of climes and circumstance, but that with this forum, we can
experiment with bending the rules and report our successes and tragedies.

AND.... as a person who fights the borer wars each year, I am equally
interested in experimenting with alternative forms of control.... remay,
dormant oil spray, moth traps, voodoo, chants and curses.

This is the forum, boyz and girlz.... 

Kathy Guest
E. Aurora, New York 

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