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Arilbreds in NM & NY

Carolyn Schaffner wrote:

:  Sharon, what is the "worst" part of your winter like (someone else from
:  Tx said they were running around in a tee shirt, so maybe winter hasn't 
:  been there -- yet -- I also hear there is a huge storm headed your way,
:  whatever that means to you) but I'm wondering if the worst part of your
:  winter is something like ours, only ours would be prolonged?????

True, winter hasn't really arrived.  I did wear a long-sleeved blouse today -- I
think for the second time this fall.   The temperature dips into the teens every
winter, below zero some years.  I can't recall a year completely without snow,
but not enough to "count" by NY standards because it's usually melted by noon.
Actually, I consider the widely fluctuating temperature the "worst" part.  It's
not unusual to have a 40-degree drop from the afternoon high to the nighttime
low.  The iris can take the low temperatures as long as they're still
winter-dormant.  The damage occurs when the temperature drops down to the low
20s or even the teens AFTER the iris have started spring growth. 

:  With that in mind, should I mulch these arils?  I don't mulch
:  the other beardeds, except with a layer of compost which was spread on 
:  everything in October or so, just to keep the rhizome from being totally 
:  exposed. I don't put leaves or anything on the bearded ones.

I'd suggest treating them as you do your other beardeds.  As I understand it,
Henry Danielson mulched all of his iris when he lived in Chicago.  At least the
locals got a kick out of the Danielsons good-natured "mulch war".  Henry would
pile grass & leaves around the iris, then Lu would clean it up.  Back & forth,
back & forth, until he got used to the local growing conditions.

:  OH!! There is a bit of new growth on these, hope that's ok.

At least it's normal here.  If you get new fall growth on TBs, I'd assume it's
ok on the arilbreds, too.

Sharon McAllister (73372.1745)
Southern New Mexico

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