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Re: Frost holler

In a message dated 96-10-10 10:50:19 EDT, you write:

>Could you explain more about the 20 degree freeze point for iris? Does 
>it kill the bloomstalk, AND damage the foliage? I don't plan to cover 
>anything this Fall, as I don't have any rebloom, but will be looking 
>very carefully at everything come Spring.  (not that I'm not now--I'm 
>probably the only one on the List who looks at every iris she has and 
>encourages it to grow!  

I have been out looking at every iris today on my day off, and I suspect we
aren't the only ones who have to go stare at them. 

I wish I had taken notes on temperature effects.  My impression - about
March, we usually have early daffodils (the naturalized, cemetery kind) in
bloom, buds swelling on trees, and generally things starting to grow.  Last
frost date is around April 15 (except in my frost pocket which is safer to
say May 1).  So by mid March, the iris leaves are starting to grow, but no
bud stalks are anywhere.  However, as I suspected, and was confirmed by some
discussion earlier on the list, flower bud primordia are formed in the
rhizome the preceeding year, so they are probably starting active growth
inside the rhizome.  A light freeze doesn't seem to hurt them any, but
somewhere in the same temperature range that kills swelling buds (?peaches?
or daffodils?), which seems to be when temps get below about 20 - 25o (maybe
somebody else on the list knows a temperature that will kill buds), early and
many mid season bloomers don't produce bloomstalks.  Since my frost pocket
usually gets about 5o colder than everywhere else under clear skies, this
happens here most years.  The Reemay is enough to keep 'em warm enough to
bloom, but I got tired of running out every evening that I thought it might
get too cold, and then misjudging one night, or being out of town, and
switched to just planting fairly late bloomers.  You don't want to keep them
covered all the time, it gets too warm.

>I would love to get some Reemay. .. The 
>Reemay is a 30 pound 148 foot by 300 foot roll! 

If there is a Farm Coop or farm supply store nearby, they used to sell it in
100 ft by 8 ft pieces, at a pretty reasonable price.  Lasts several years,
even with major neglect.  I also use it to cover late fall stuff to extend
the season a little.

> Let's you and I and others on the list keep track, shall we?

I certainly find I am paying a lot more attention to detail since joining
this list!  What exactly shall we keep track of?  It isn't the temperature
that matters as much as the sequence of temperatures (long warm spell
followed by sudden severe cold).   If we wanted to keep track of which iris
respond more slowly to warming temperatures, how would we measure it?    Or
did you mean just notice which ones always bloom no matter what the weather?
 This was a good year to find out!  : )

Linda Mann lmann76543@aol.com east TN USA

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