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Re: CULT: Are Liquid Plant Foods such as Miracle-Gro, Peters, etc. Goo...

In a message dated 11/29/04 5:14:45 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
Matbeach1@aol.com writes:

<<  One previous post indicated that iris are voracious feeders; however, I 
 wondering if I am missing feeding them something between fertilizings [?] I 
 to fertilize in the spring, and I fertilized in the fall when I planted. The 
 plants look healthy, but I am wondering if I should be doing more?>>

Mike, if you have had a response to this on line I have not seen it. At the 
risk of reading to you from the primer, but because I am in your quadrant of 
the country, I will step up to the plate and opine that I think winter is an 
excellent season to just leave your irises alone. 

Your pansies are enjoying being jolted with that high octane fertilizer not 
only because they are brought up to relish it, but also because they are now in 
their active blooming season, whereas the irises are not. 

Irises need their proper nutrients as do all plants, certainly, and those 
grown in sandy soils, or for the show bench, often benefit from some additional 
fertilizer, even chemical fertilizer, but, generally speaking-- and putting 
aside acute situations and questions of individual varieties' thrift-- garden 
plants grown lean and mean often prove the hardier plants. 

If you are unable to restrain yourself from the irises this winter then go 
get some nice ground rock phosphate at the feed store and fling that about. It 
is natural and very slow acting in the soil. But, generally speaking, the best 
rule is to understand your soil test results--you did get one of those done, 
right?-- then feed the soil, not the plants, and that rule holds regardless of 

Do you mind if I quote my buddy C. S. Harrison at you? Writing in 1909 he 
said, "We get choice things and want to do the best we can by them and over do 


Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA 

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