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Re: Zone 5 mulch?

At 11:12 AM 9/16/97 -0600, Sharron wrote:
>Hello all,
>After gardening for more years than I want to admit to ; >) I have a new
>situation here and need some advice. We moved out of Zone 6A this summer
>to a Zone 5 and sometimes down to Zone 4 winters and need to know if I
>have to mulch or offer winter protection for my Irises. 

I have never mulched an iris in zone 5. I would imagine that more irises
have been killed by poor management of mulch than by cold. The vast
majority of bearded irises are reliable growers in zone 3 provided good
frewsh rhizomes are planted and they are planted  sufficiently early. I
like to see the zone 3 planting done by the end of July. Here in zone 5 we
are still planting.

If you get snow cover there is nothing you can mulch with that is better.
If snow is scanty, pile some evergreen branches around to trap the maximum
snow. Great use for your Christmas tree.

Once the ground freezes, you should try to keep it frozen. It is
freeze-thaw cycles that is destructive not deep steady freezeing weather.
Your iris will probably survive most winters better in zone 5 than they did
in zone 6.

Plant them and relax.

John Montgomery
Vernon  BC  Zone 5

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