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CULT - borers


A comment on the borer war.

I had never seen a borer until this summer. Last spring I was given a great
pile of historic rhizomes (no name) and thought they would fill in a gravelly
place by the barn.  They grew poorly last year and this year popped up in
spots with very few flowers.  I thought they did not like zone 4 and dug them
up to compost them and in each rhizome was a large pinkish fat worm.  

So........do not accept gift iris w/o the knowledge that borers can come as
hitch-hikers.  Then investigating further I notice my large and beautiful
stand of pallida was looking sickly.  I attributed this to the long summer
drought we experienced this year.

It dawned on me in August that the gift plants may have sent some moths to
the pallida and I may be dealing with an invasion.  I dug up and replanted
all the pallida and there were some borers in that lot.

I have very few TB's and nearly no other bearded iris so I am now left with a
few other very old varieties that have been on my farm for many years. I dug
up parts of a wide stand of Honorobile and found no borers there but it is a
distance from the first two. Regardless of the current pro and con discussion
on pesticides it appears one cannot grow bearded iris w/o extraordinary
precaution and some chemical assistance.  I am reliably told that the daylily
group in my area began (by some of the best area gardeners) with despair over
the growing of TB's in New York.

Since I am assured the iris borer can attack my large collection of siberian,
species, and now Japanese iris I think I will spray in the spring.

I would like to know if experience has it that a cleaning out of infested
iris and treatment for one or  two years results in a "cure".  My garden is
in a rural area and is isolated from any other garden.  

On the use of Cygon 2E, I have had it in the shed for years.  I think I have
only used it twice, both times for mite infested phlox.  Using it in early
spring allowed the phlox to grow and bloom after several years of browned up
plants.  It seems to me that the pesticide vs. absolutely no pesticide debate
has been going on as long as I have been gardening.  My grandfather used
arsenic, lead, copper sulphate and a nasty form of nicotine.  Could we not be
enlightened and that enlightenment will no doubt lead to newer and less
harmful garden chemicals.  That gardeners did not care would maintain the
status quo, this movement to better forms of control is good thing.  An
occasional need to medicate a plant is not a crime to me.  Lack of awareness
in the pesticide controversy might be.

Claire Peplowski - zone 4 - fall on the way.






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