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RE: Iris growing north of Parry Sound

  • Subject: RE: [iris-talk] Iris growing north of Parry Sound
  • From: laurief <laurief@paulbunyan.net>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Sep 01 09:54:25 -0600

Hi Susan,

>Iris "fans" come available in August for planting ... I
>bought it from a nursery 60 miles south of here to make sure the iris were
>somewhat acclimatized

Purchasing acclimatized irises probably helps (though I grow irises from 
all over the U.S. - almost all from significantly warmer climates than 
mine), but you might want to try to locate Canadian suppliers who are 
willing to make irises available earlier in the season.  There are also a 
number of U.S. commercial sources who will ship to Canada starting as 
early as the beginning of July.

>  The rz (is that a short form we should use ? "rz")

I don't know whether that's a "proper" abbreviation or not, but it's in 
fairly common usage on this list.

>I have a feeling that I just have to be patient and
>wait and see what happens next year ... their second year.

Of the approx. 250 irises I planted last year, a bit fewer than half 
bloomed this year.  Some of the older irises that bloomed last year 
neglected to bloom this year. I do think our short growing season impacts 
some irises' ability to bloom every year, but it's such a joy to see them 
when they DO bloom.  They're worth the wait.
>
>You seem to suggest NOT moving anything
>this late in the season as it will disturb the roots.  Do you think I cut
>just displace the soil above the RZs so that the iris is in a little "well"
>with the RZ slight exposed?  ... I would be working from the top so the
>roots would not be disturbed.

No, I would NOT suggest removing soil from on top of your rzs.  The last 
thing you want to do is create a water-holding well directly on top of 
your rhizomes.  I can't think of a faster way to promote bacterial soft 
rot.  A light covering of soil (1/2" or less) shouldn't negatively impact 
your irises.  If you feel you want to lift them a bit, however, wait 
until after bloom next year to do so.

>250 irises ... it must look lovely.

It should look even lovelier next year after having added another 100 
cultivars this year.  ;-)
>
>I am trying
>my tiny "8" irises of different varieties, just to see how they manage, and
>if I can get them growing right, I will start adding more.

I'm sure they'll do just fine given a bit more time.  There sure is a big 
variation in how different cultivars respond to different growing 
conditions, though. The ones that die, die and good riddance.  The ones 
that sulk can continue to sit around and acclimate until I decide I need 
their space.  The ones that flourish and appeal to my eye will maintain 
spots in my garden as long as they continue to do so.  I figure if I add 
enough new ones each year, it won't be long before I'm able to develop a 
collection of beardeds that perform well under my specific growing 
conditions.  Don't be discouraged if the ones you are currently growing 
turn out to be less than impressive.  Just try different ones.  Chuck 
Chapman would be a terrific resource for you to ask for recommendations.

Have you considered growing some of the dwarfs and medians?  They tend to 
be considerably tougher, less temperamental, and significantly more 
vigorous than the tall beardeds.

Happy growing,

Laurie


-----------------
laurief@paulbunyan.net
http://www.geocities.com/lfandjg/
zone 3b northern MN - clay soil


 

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