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Re: Re: CAT: Survey of Iris Suppliers - Results

  • Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Re: CAT: Survey of Iris Suppliers - Results
  • From: "lilylvr" <lilylvr@kansas.net>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 10:35:50 -0700

Hi Randy,
Gumbo is a black clay that dries and cracks into large bricks every summer. Cracks can go as deep as 6 feet in a really hot dry summer where it is not watered. This is not all bad. Anything vigorous to push it's rots through does very well. There is a lot of minerals that the plants like. Also I can have iris and daylilies in the same bed and water the daylilies more than the iris by only watering those "bricks" The soil bricks up even with large amounts of humus material added, but it does get easier to dig in when amendments are added. Also I can move plants almost anytime I want. I just dig well around them and move their entire root system soil and all and they do not know they have been moved. Since my gardens are still in the planning stage this makes it easier to rearrange when needed. Clay also holds moisture a lot longer than better soil and does not need watered nearly as often. It also gets a half inch crust at the top that keeps the rhizomes high and dry with plenty of moisture for the roots to grow. It takes a little getting used to but is more manageable than some places I have lived. Probably because I grew up farming here and understand the needs of the soil. One tip is to rototill a new area when it is still damp from the last rain and leave it in chunks until after the next rain. That lets air in and makes the soil more tillable later when adding amendments without tearing up the rototiller.
I have also found if I can put raw manure and wood product on top of the soil over the winter that the soil breaks down under a thin layer and is usually ready to plant by spring.

If you are lucky enough to have really nice soil. I wouldn't move here to garden. The benefits of clay do not ever outweigh nice loam. Something I try to accomplish but will probably not ever have. Gumbo uses up humus so fast that a nice garden can be as hard as a rock in about 3 years, 2 if you don't add compost. It just seems to be the nature of the soil here.

Sincerely Wendy

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Randy Squires 
  To: iris-talk@yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 8:47 AM
  Subject: Re: [iris-talk] Re: CAT: Survey of Iris Suppliers - Results


  <lilylvr@kansas.net> writes:
  > I have the best luck setting them ontop of 
  > the gumbo and letting the roots settle them to the depth they 
  > prefer. I think that when it rains the gumbo holds too much moisture 
  > for to long for the rhizomes. 

  Hi Wendy,
  What exactly is Gumbo, some type of soil?
  I always thought it is some type of food from
  Louisiana.
  Randy, who has just plain dirt.
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