Irises forum: Getting ready for incoming shipments

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Views: 1397, Replies: 38 » Jump to the end
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jun 19, 2014 10:27 PM CST
I'm curious to know how everybody deals with large and sometimes overwhelming orders. Do you put them in containers, or beds, or straight into the garden? If you have designated Iris-only beds, how do you arrange them? By color or size, hybridizer, or alphabetically?

When you select Iris to order, are you motivated by "ooohhh pretty, must have", or "that would look nice in the garden next to________", or "I'd like to use that to breed with____"?

Last year I broke my foot just as most of my orders were arriving, so most went into containers. Then I took over most of my vegetable garden... I planted *most* of those in containers through the fall and winter. Some of the plantings were planned, and some with a wing and a prayer.
Thumb of 2014-06-20/Henhouse/b205a7 Thumb of 2014-06-20/Henhouse/037177

Thumb of 2014-06-20/Henhouse/464b8f

This area, that used to have zucchini or melons, is all historics now..
Thumb of 2014-06-20/Henhouse/e80ee1

When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
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
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tveguy3
Jun 20, 2014 3:47 AM CST
On a good year (cough) I have the bed ready and the markers in place before the shipment arrives. When it comes, I just plop them in their place and they are ready to grow. Sometimes they have to wait in their boxes a couple day to let me catch up. When I imported some from Australia, I planted them in pots first and then placed them later. I guess I could have just planted them anyway, but I wasn't sure where they were going at that time. Yesterday I prepared a new bed, between the rain storms, and planted some peonies in it, and will plant a clematis today. I'm expecting a trade box soon, and my order from France is due any day. One came yesterday from Arlyn, Thank You! and I planted some of those, and will finish that today. They mostly will be going into the historic bed. The rain lasted on and off all night, but should be ending here soon. Hope it does so I can get digging!
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
crowrita1
Jun 20, 2014 5:00 AM CST
Yeah, as Tom said, "it depends"! I get my bed ready as far in advance as I can, so it can be "settled", and most of the fresh sprouted weeds can be dealt with before the iris come. I also usually print out my "data sheets" for each iris( either the HIPS page from the photo section, or from the AIS wiki), and get my "ground tags" engraved and wired to the nails I use as stakes. Then I check all the data sheets , for height, and look at the pictures to check for "color effect". I plant mostly by height, tallest at the back of the bed, getting shorter as they move to the front, and try (usually) not to plant two of similar color next to each other. With that all done, I just wait for the box to come, and then panic! Rolling on the floor laughing ....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
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grannysgarden
Jun 20, 2014 5:07 AM CST
That is a good question Sherry. I am always planning on adding irises (in much smaller quantities than this year) to my garden. When I prepare a bed I usually plan for it to be as big as the space allows then I never plan to fill it completely. That way my bed is ready when my order comes and I always have room for 'tuck ins' as they come along. I live in a climate where we trade iris into November. If I get one that late I usually pot it and bring it in overnight if we are threatened with a hard freeze. The newly potted irises spend the winter in the warmest part of my garden. most of them bloom in the spring and they are incorporated into the appropriate beds during the time I move/transplant the other irises. I look at any fence, walkway, building, ridge as the place to plant a row of irises.

As far as how I make selections for my garden, I work at the State Capitol beds with the CAIS and we have just short of 200 varieties, I tour the three large iris gardens in central AR as well as visit the gardens of other gardeners during iris bloom. This way I see a lot of irises close up and keep a list of what I want by looks and what grows best here.... the rest of my selections are made purely on the oooohhhh, aaaahhh, factor. This site has been very helpful in growing my lists. And, as my favorites are dwarfs I do not discriminate in their color or their temperament I just get 'em and grow 'em. Then there are the gifts, plant swaps, trades online and just people showing up with an iris saying you will love this one. I never turn one down as they are probably right. smiles

Unfortunately, I do not have the space I desire to have all the irises I NEED so I have to be creative with my gardening.

I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 20, 2014 7:57 AM CST
My beds have pretty much been set up as iris only. I do get the beds ready ahead of time. When I created this year's new bed, I knew I had to make it large enough to accommodate more than I just ordered, because so far I have had to add more garden with every year I order.

I do plant with size in mind with the shortest in front and tallest in the back (though some TB really don't meet their registered height - ehem). But I also plan the garden bed by complimentary color mixes. Such as: the silver grey of Silverado was striking with Coal Seams' dark purple, and the red and yellow of Michigan Pride looks great with the all red of Grateful Red.

I do not have tags (yet), but map every garden. When I move iris I remap the garden.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jun 20, 2014 10:49 AM CST
It sounds like I better get crackin' on getting beds ready.. There are really only a few I've ordered that I have specific spots in mind..
I know everyone's soil probably varies greatly from Wisconsin to Arkansas, and N. Carolina to Illinois, but I'm wondering how each of you prepares the beds. How you would classify your soil, and what amendments & fertilizers do you add?

Tom, do you need an import permit of some sort for foreign orders? I brought in plants from Hilliers once on someone else's permit, but wonder about something that's bare root?
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Lori Morrow
Enid, OK (Zone 6b)
I want them all!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Oklahoma
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enidcandles
Jun 20, 2014 10:59 AM CST
I system is kinda sad. I roundup my intended area, wait for everything to be dead..till it up, mix a little bone meal into each "hole" as I plant my iris and hope for the best.
This year I have actually killed out my area BEFORE my orders start coming in so I am way ahead of the game for me. Sometimes I have had rhizomes sit in the house for 2 weeks waiting for me to finish up my beds...they have been fine but it is not a highly recommended method!
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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
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Muddymitts
Jun 20, 2014 1:04 PM CST
My method is about the same as Lori's. Kill the weeds (especially bermuda) where I intend to plant, dig and *turn* the soil to loosen any clay clods, etc., smooth and plant. Once planted, I sprinkle with Preen with plant food.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 20, 2014 1:10 PM CST
I have lots of clay in my soil so most of my beds are raised beds. I remove the sod, then cover the bottom with newspaper (weedblock), then add a topsoil/compost mix. Topsoil here still has a lot of that clay so without compost the ground turns hard as rock. To really keep the soil well drained I have found I need 50/50 compost to soil. Then when the iris come in I plant them with bone meal at the roots.

My Japanese & Louisiana iris are down by the creek where there is a much better organic mix in the soil. I add peat and manure to that soil, mix it really well, then let those beds sit a couple of weeks before I plant the JA or LA iris. So these beds have to be planned ahead. After planting, these beds also get a good layer of mulch to help keep the roots wet, and frequent watering.
My road calls me, lures me west, east, south & north; most roads lead men homewards, my road leads me forth. - John Masefield
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
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tveguy3
Jun 20, 2014 5:13 PM CST
Yes, Jan, you can get a permit to import from the US dept. of Ag. free. You can make the application on line. It's simple (well if I can do it, it's simple) and it is good for 3 years. Then you just send a copy of the permit to the vendor who you are buying from, and they linclude that info in the mailing. Makes for a smooth transition. If you want more specific info, I can get that for you.
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
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
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DaveinPA
Jun 20, 2014 5:33 PM CST
Does anyone have a list of those sellers, and their websites if any, which will export to the US? I found many so far that think it is too much trouble. Many in Europe will send to Common Market countries only.
Thanks
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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Henhouse
Jun 20, 2014 7:36 PM CST
Ok, so I was so inspired by you folks prepping your beds in advance, that I went out this morning and started clearing a section where I've been thinking about doing an Iris labyrinth. Luckily, I saw the yellow jackets coming out of a crack in the soil before I disturbed where they are. They will often utilize old gopher burrows, which is probably where the crack connects. I'll have to wait until tonight when they're all in bed to nail them... but it changed my plans for today.... Just as well... it was 90 degrees an hour ago.
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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
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Muddymitts
Jun 20, 2014 9:18 PM CST
Oh. My.God. I'm SO glad you saw them in advance.
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jun 20, 2014 10:24 PM CST
I'm so glad you saw the yellow jackets too! Last summer I wasn't so lucky. Their hive was in a hole in the ground under the edge of a shrub I was cutting back. I got attacked and stung numerous times. Luckily I was wearing thick pants and a hat, but I still got tagged pretty good.

So after I called someone to kill them, I thought they were all gone. Nope! There was a second hive under the pile of cut branches. I found that out the hard way! For the second time in a week, I was swarmed and stung several times. I even had them in my hair and got stung on the scalp and hairline. Once again, I was lucky I wore thick pants...

Luckily I'm not allergic to their venom. I washed every sting with alcohol after it happened and immediately changed my clothes. I then applied some baking soda paste (water and baking soda mixed together) to every sting and applied ice after and took some benadryl. I had no swelling and there really wasn't much pain. The itching that came later was nasty. I felt like a dog with fleas.
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Jun 20, 2014 11:11 PM CST
Oh my gosh Rob... I live in dread of that happening.. I just started seeing them about a week ago, and put out a couple traps. In just a weeks time, I've notice a big increase... Perhaps with the ground being so cracked from the drought, they have more habitat... I really hate them. Grumbling

Tom, if I had known it was that easy to get an import permit, I would have been ordering plants willy-nilly from all corners or the world for decades. Thankfully, I'm much more sensible now.. Rolling on the floor laughing
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
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
Image
grannysgarden
Jun 21, 2014 5:53 AM CST
Just FYI. Schreiner's has started their summer iris sale today.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Jun 21, 2014 10:29 AM CST
I watched a presentation last night on all the 2014 introductions. Schreiner's had some nice ones...
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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
Image
Muddymitts
Jun 21, 2014 1:45 PM CST
Watched it where???
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Irises Keeper of Poultry Roses Dragonflies Birds
Bulbs Foliage Fan Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Image
Henhouse
Jun 21, 2014 2:17 PM CST
Oh, Riley Probst gave a slide presentation of his visit to the nationals and Oregon growers at the Monterey Bay Iris Society meeting last night. He went to Schreiners, Mid-America, Keith Keppel, and he showed pics of Aitken's Iris, but I'm not sure if he went up to Washington too..
Most of the stand-outs for me were from Mid-America.. out of 70 different Iris, I have 15 starred on my list... Whistling
When counting, try not to mix chickens with blessings.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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
Image
Muddymitts
Jun 21, 2014 7:33 PM CST
MidAmerica is the only place I ordered Irises from this year. And the only reason that I did so was to earn one of their bonus Irises -- *Dare Me* -- which is PHENOMENAL!!!!! Green Grin!
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])

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