Irises forum: Getting iris' ready for growing season

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Name: Kim
iowa (Zone 5a)
Birds Cat Lover
Apr 10, 2014 10:45 PM CST
Just was wondering what others do in the spring to help iris' do well. Kim
Name: Mary Ann
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Hostas Hummingbirder Daylilies Birds
Irises Keeps Horses Region: Kentucky Farmer Container Gardener Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 11, 2014 5:56 AM CST
Remove any tree leaves covering the rhizomes. Remove any old Iris leaves. You want your Iris beds to be clean a free from any debris. Sprinkle Preen on the beds, or any other pre-emergent, to prevent weeds. I use Preen with plant food. Some people here add alfalfa pellets to the perimeter of their Iris beds, to add nitrogen to the soil. I'm trying that this year for the first time.

Nothing more is required, unless you had problems last season -- then now is a good time to address them, such as fungal leaf-spot, borers, etc. Smiling
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. (
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 11, 2014 6:39 AM CST
Being in Iowa, you will want to treat for iris borers this spring soon. Use a product that is made for grubs in your lawn. I use Bayer.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 11, 2014 6:43 AM CST
I agree All good advice!....Arlyn
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 11, 2014 7:24 AM CST
I put some low nitrogen water soluble plant food on mine about six weeks before they bloom and then once agaom when bloom time is finished. For the rebloomers I sometimes do this again in the fall. Is this a good thing to do Mary Ann, Tom and Arlyn? I don't use alfalfa as I am afraid to add to much nitrogen to my soil. ??? I have never had a borer in my life. Are borers becoming more prevalent or are they more inclined to be in one region? Now saying that I will probably have a million this year because I have never treated for them.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 11, 2014 7:54 AM CST
I feed again after spring bloom, and the Re's get an extra dose ! Along with some extra water. As far as the pellets, in my opinion ,the nitrogen value is very small, and being organic in nature, is very "slow release". I would guess that the nitrogen is pretty well "tied up" in breaking down the pellet, so there wouldn't be very much actually added to the soil. same would be true with the corn gluten meal used as weed control . As to the borers, when my folks lived in Arkansas ( up by Lake Norfork) they had some borer problems (it seemed worse in the newer TBs) but not many. ...Arlyn

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