Re: CULT - Rocks on Rhizomes
>with a little rhizome there is plenty of expansion space for frozen
>soil around the plant. The frost has someplace else to go.
I have found that the answers to most of life's questions can be found in
one of three sources.
b) A good anthology of poetry
c) Your physics text book.
The explanation at the top of this message must be from the poetry book
because it defies experience and physics. Place that rock or brick on the
soil with no rhizome and it will rise when the ground freezes. The size is
not relevant, it will be pushed up.
Placing a weight on top of a rhizome may keep the rhizome in contact with
the surface of the soil after thawing occurs but the roots will have been
shifted in the soil and the fine ones probably will have been broken. This
is another reason for cutting the roots off or at least drastically
shortening them before planting. It is those big old roots that are as much
of a problem as the frost. They act like a ratchet, lifting the rhizome
higher each time and preventing a settling back. Give those roots a severe
shave before planting and much of that problem will disappear.
If the rhizome does stand a bit proud of the soil come spring hoe some soil
up around it and presto - a mini raised bed. Sometimes I think that soil is
an alien environment for irises. I refuse to pamper any hybrid because
inevitably it wiil return to haunt me. This led me to dump all of our stock
of BEVERLY SILLS last year because we always suffered some winter loss in
it. Perhaps loss is not correct. We came into spring with a bunch of
underacheiving rhizomes which lived but did not live it up. When I say dump
the stock, I am describing it exactly. The rhizomes were pulled out and
thrown on a grassy path. Before we got everything cleaned up, we were into
lily bulb digging and shipping and the BEVERLY SILLS rhizomes spent the
winter on top of the grass. In the spring EVERY rhizome was alive and
looking better than they had ever looked after a winter in the soil. This
was all acheived with out any rooting into the ground. Out of curiousity we
left them and eventually they did get roots into the soil and continued to
thrive until I was not able to stand it any more they got pulled again and
Certainly, the rocks are not going to hurt anything but my back would much
rather do something else than lug rocks around and my knees would much
rather I plant irises while standing erect. Get rid of the roots and plant
from a standing position. The iris won't mind it and your knees will be
After a lifetime (not quite) of doing things the hard way, I now question
everything which places demands on my knees after having had a look inside
them during a past arthroscopic surgery session.
Vernon BC Zone 5
154 Steppingstones Cres.
Vernon BC V1H 1X2