Dear Iris in the Garden.
I am a little north of you, in USDA zone 4a. I think it would be safe for you to begin "mining" out your potted bearded iris from the ground. The "Spring" weather seems a little early to me, but the majority of bearded iris will survive. Better for you to slow down your spring growth by unearthing your pots, than to risk any chances of rot setting in.
With the nice warm days for the past week, we have lost all our snow, and the frogs in the wetlands have begun to chirp at night!
My bearded iris are not in pots, they are planted directly in the ground. I have noticed that the fans have begun to grow new leaves, some of them are already 4 inches (10cm) tall. With Iris that have been mulched with just a little wood chips, I see fans that have not completely softened/died from our harsh winter. One cultivar in particular showing the least winter damage is GOT MILK. It was planted right into the wood chip mulch.
If I'm not too busy with bookwork tomorrow, I'll try and take a few photos of my iris (and post them on the iris photos archives www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos
)in their current state.
Statements made on and attachments (including but not limited to photographs of irises or people) sent to this list are the sole responsibility of the individual participants and are not endorsed by, or attributable to, or under the control of the moderator of this list.