>>We also would cover the iris with straw with the first snow (burning that
>>and the dead foliage off in the spring).
>The straw should be a stiff stemmed type such as wheat, preferrably not a
>soft stem grain like oats. Burning off in spring is probably excellent
>garden practice but check your local bylaws. Doing that here would land you
>in court trying to convince a judge on the merits of iris growing.
Could we get some experience in burning off in the spring? I know there
was one local grower (with a large collection of older varieties) who
burned over the iris beds with a weed torch in spring. I have never done
this and always worry that fresh new growth may be damaged, setting the
stage for rot. Couldn't that fire get pretty intense if you also burn off
the mulch? It seems that burning over is touted as a control for borers
and leaf spot, the two major iris pests in the NE USA. Does it really
work? What about the timing?