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CULT: Stones on Rhizomes

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: Stones on Rhizomes
  • From: "Michael Cook" <macook@iglou.com>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 14:33:17 -0600 (MDT)

     This topic was discussed a lot during the lousy weather of last
spring.  It lead to a lot of humor.  Those of you who are new to the list
might wish to check out the Iris-L archives.  
     Seriously, though, putting a stone or brick over a rhizome does help
prevent having it heaved out of the ground. Those in climates where once
the weather gets cold, it stays cold normally do not have problems with
rhizomes heaving out of the ground.  It also is not a problem where the
soil does not freeze, such as southern California.  
      Heaving is a serious problem here in Kentucky because we can go
through as many as 100 freeze-thaw cycles in a winter, and snow cover is
not reliable.  Also, since the soil here is often saturated when it
freezes, the resulting ice shards can puncture a rhizome, causing more
problems.  Compounding matters is the fact that the arrival of the
freeze-thaw weather can vary by several weeks from season to season.  This
is why I recommended earlier planting dates and still feel the same way.  
     Mulching is not recommended for Bearded Irises here because it will
most likely cause them to rot.  

Mark A. Cook
Lexington, KY         

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