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Nov 4, 2014 4:52 PM CST
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener Daylilies Region: Ukraine Region: California
Irises Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds
On Facebook recently, someone recommended sprinkling super phos (0-48-0) around the irises.
Better blooms in May, they said
Has anyone tried this? I've only used some compost, bone meal, and weak liquid fish fertilizer in water..
Other suggestions?
Avatar for crowrita1
Nov 4, 2014 5:13 PM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I use it......several ways, Like you read, a "sprinkling" around the plants seem to really help with bloom....I do it really early, just as new growth starts, and, for the rebloomers, another "sprinkle" just after the "spring" bloom is finished. There is a relationship between the amount of phosphate, and the amount of nitrogen ( I forget the exact ratio, but you can probably "google" to find it), so , in other words, if the right amount of nitrogen isn't present in the soil....all of the phosphate won't be available to the plant, and will just 'leach out' of the soil.
Depending on what other 'amendments" I'm adding to the soil( alfalfa pellets, for example have a nitrogen content, as does "organic' Preen, or corn gluten meal), I take plain ,old 10-10-10 fertilizer, and mix it , 50 /50, with the triple super phosphate, which is 0-48-0(at least the "brand" I use...that results in a final "mix" of 5-27-5, which is just about perfect for bearded iris......but, remember....if you are adding other products that have a nitrogen content, you have to be carful not to end up TOO high in nitrogen. I would recommend that before adding ANYTHING to the soil, in the way of fertilizer amendments, that a person has a soil test done, to see just what your soil is lacking (if anything), as well as to get the 'ph" tested....the ph has to be "right", or the plants can't use the fertilizer.
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Nov 4, 2014 5:31 PM CST
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Annuals Irises Dog Lover Composter Cat Lover Region: California
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I'm new at this too Jan...so I'm glad you started this thread. I figured I can't go wrong if I use the fertilizer that they use at Superstition Gardens. Their mix is 6-20-10. Because I live close I just buy it from them. It might be too expensive to ship...but you might benefit from knowing the balance they use.
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Nov 4, 2014 6:44 PM CST
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener Daylilies Region: Ukraine Region: California
Irises Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds
Thanks for the helpful into Arlyn! Thank You!
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Nov 4, 2014 7:35 PM CST
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Annuals Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plays in the sandbox
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I have told this before but maybe it needs repeating. A number of years ago UIS was on a tour and visited a ladies iris garden. The bloom was glorious and some things that were short in all of our gardens like Queen of Hearts and Dazzling Gold were nice and tall in her garden. Her soil was very sandy. She sprinkled Super Phosphate around the clumps in early spring.......
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Nov 4, 2014 7:36 PM CST
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Annuals Irises Dog Lover Composter Cat Lover Region: California
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Good to know! Thanks Paul! I tip my hat to you.
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Nov 4, 2014 9:17 PM CST
Name: Sherry Austin
Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9a)
Birds Bulbs Region: California Dragonflies Foliage Fan Irises
Keeper of Poultry Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2015
ok.. I've been using bonemeal, or bulb starter, which is not nearly high enough in Phosphate. On a quest tomorrow for Super phosphate to mix w/ 10-10-10.. Sounds reasonable to me.
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
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Nov 5, 2014 4:31 AM CST
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Vegetable Grower Keeper of Poultry Irises Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Wisconsin Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Ghio recomends in his catalog that you use something like a 10-10-10 in the spring. That's all he uses. We can't buy them here, as they have been banned for use. Too many Phosphates showing up in the ground water.
Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.
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Nov 5, 2014 10:39 AM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
It is hard to find 10-10-10 here too. I have it to use on my Japanese iris (which are heavy feeders due to their water requirements), but wasn't sure it would be of benefit to bearded. I have been using just bone meal. I'll have to check on if I can get super phosphate.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Nov 5, 2014 12:04 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Irises Region: Northeast US Region: United Kingdom Region: United States of America
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
We use 5-10=10 as well as alphalfa pellets. Make our own compost over the years. Keep the nitrogen low (first number).
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Nov 5, 2014 1:14 PM CST
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Vegetable Grower Keeper of Poultry Irises Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Wisconsin Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I can't get 10-10-10 ususally anymore, so I get 13-13-13 and just use less of it.
Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.
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Nov 5, 2014 2:04 PM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
This forum is the first time I have heard of the use of alfalfa pellets. Not sure who would carry them around here.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Nov 5, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Name: Marilyn
Central California (Zone 9b)
Annuals Irises Dog Lover Composter Cat Lover Region: California
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I used to buy them at the local feed store for my llamas. They come in large bags like dog food, etc.
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Nov 5, 2014 8:32 PM CST
Name: Ken
Traverse City, Michigan (Zone 5a)
Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: Michigan Region: United States of America
Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers cold winters
You can get alfalfa pellets at Tractor Supply.
Last edited by bramedog Nov 5, 2014 8:53 PM Icon for preview
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Nov 5, 2014 11:24 PM CST
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Art Irises Organic Gardener Permaculture
Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing
I would be wary of putting GMO alfalfa pellets on my garden. Wouldn't mown clover or green bean plants work just as well? I suppose I could grow some alfalfa and mow that too for mulch.

So far, I haven't used any fertilizer on my iris except that I let the leaves rot for years. Except the in too damp and dark places (I moved those), they all bloom and multiply very well. We will see with the new front lawn gardens. That used to be grass, clover and mostly violets.
Don't make fear based decisions.
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Nov 6, 2014 9:08 AM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Since they are pellets - do you work them in around the iris? Are they popular with squirrels? I have plenty of big squirrels so I don't want to encourage them!!
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Nov 6, 2014 9:13 AM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Also - what extra fertilizers, or magic, do you all use to get re-bloomers going? And when do you apply?
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
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Nov 6, 2014 9:29 AM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
here's an informative link that should answer most of your questions http://winterberryirises.com/i...
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Nov 6, 2014 10:35 AM CST
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener Daylilies Region: Ukraine Region: California
Irises Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds
Thanks, Arlyn. I have the article bookmarked to re-read. Lots of information.
Puzzled by one statement - cautioning not to water in the daytime because it causes rot. Who waters at night? Hmmmm....
Also, while it looks like Super Phos is obtained from rock, I wonder about some of the other suggestions. Also, Tom's comment
about a it being banned in his area because it's getting in the ground water gives me pause.
Avatar for crowrita1
Nov 6, 2014 11:44 AM CST
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Beekeeper Region: Illinois Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I think you would read that as, night= low-light conditions (not in strong sunshine)

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