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Jul 29, 2011 5:02 PM CST
|I never had an iris bed before as big as the one I put in my backyard last year. What with the hot weather and other chores it got lots of weeds now. So today I decided the next thing I really HAD to do was weed there so I started today. Got about half done. In fact that is what I was doing but it started lightly raining now so I decided I had had enough for the day and came instide. But as I am pulling the weeds and getting a really good close look at the iris I see lots and lots of rot. |
I have had iris rot around here but usually if that is going to happen I find they rot over the winter and are just gone by spring. The other beds I keep really weed free though. And the other beds the soil is not as good. This bed is in what used to be a veggie garden area so was ammended with lots of compost thru the years.
I was more focused on pulling weeds than checking closely on the rot but I was just surprised to see it. Do you think it has anything to do with my lack of weeding? Or the better soil? I will have to look more carefully to see how bad certain ones have it.
Jul 29, 2011 5:32 PM CST
|Please describe the rot. Is it the soft stinky one or something else?|
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Jul 29, 2011 5:37 PM CST
|Ok, now you got me. There are different types of rot? It didn't stink. Mostly some leaves were rotted were they joined the rhizome and I just pulled them away. Some of the rhizomes that bloomed this spring were totally rotted but it looked like there were baby increases that were growing fine.|
Jul 29, 2011 5:44 PM CST
|Rita, I understand that bacterial soft rot (stinks like a rotten potato) can be caused by a combination of heat and moisture, and lots of nitrogen is really bad for iris because it promotes bacterial soft rot. And I suspect that's what you have since it's happening in warmer weather. That is why I never fertilize my iris in summer (only in early spring and in the fall), I only use a fertilizer that has a low nitrogen number (first number of the three), and I really watch everything after I water and make sure there is no standing water around my iris. And, of course, I'm helped out there because it never seems to rain here in the summer -- although if it rained more it would probably be cooler...|
Anyway, try to clean them out and get rid of it (I just get my good old thumb in there and scoop the goo out--yuck!) and expose the bad spots to sunlight if you can -- and you can squeeze SoftSoap into the spots or even pour cleanser on them. Some people dig up the rhizomes and lay them in the sun for a couple of days to help, or you could do both if you want. I had a lot of trouble with rot when I was a newbie with iris and didn't understand about the heat/moisture/nitrogen thing, but now I rarely have a problem and when I do I break out the SoftSoap!
I suspect the rot has more to do with the fact that it was a vegetable garden and you've amended the soil quite a bit and there's probably a lot of nitrogen buildup there. How deeply do you bury the rhizomes? You might want to just practically plop them on top through the summer and then mound dirt up over them for the winter -- I'm certainly not an expert here, but that might work.
Jul 29, 2011 6:59 PM CST
|It is not uncommon for the 'mother rhizome' to disintegrate when dry or rot when it is wet. The old bloom stalks can funnel water down to the bloomed rhizome and cause rot. Hot and wet is a bad combination for irises.|
Jul 29, 2011 7:30 PM CST
|I will look at them more closely tomorrow during the day. Hopefully I can get more weeding done also. |
I am not used to the old mother rhizome rotting. I doesn't happen in the rest of the garden. And maybe I just didn't get close enough to the iris but I didn't notice any smell at all.
Betty, that is what I will do. Clean them up once I get it all weeded. I suspect the intense heat and the fact that I had to water or it rained didn't help. The weeds kept me from looking too carefully.
I only fed them in the spring and I do always use a low nitrogen fertilizer. In fact I remember using the tomato fertilizer this spring. Low nitrogen as they don't want crazy plant growth with no fruit set. In fact it is made for high fruit yeild withput incouraging lots of leaf growth. Seemed good for iris.
Jul 29, 2011 9:52 PM CST
|Iris need water when they are planted, but constant water unless plant is drying up can easily lead to rot.|
Jul 29, 2011 11:33 PM CST
|I guess I need to clean my glasses. When I first did a quick glimpse at the title I thought it said "Weeding Now, Noticeing Pot". It isn't too much of a reach because it happened to me at this one rental where we lived. I happily cultivated this "volunteer" plant in the front garden, weeding around it and tending my other plants. It grew quite big. I thought it was one of our local wildflowers because there is a similar native (some kind of cinquefoil, as I recall). I eventually figured it out and pulled it. Just glad a cop didn't drive by before I got rid of it (no I didn't smoke it).|
Jul 30, 2011 8:45 AM CST
|I am gardening in a Texas/Okla border county in the worst drought on record. Add to the drought with 36 days of 100 + weather since June. The prediction is no relief in site. |
The soil is pure river sand amended with some biosludge compost that is supposed to be low in nitrogen. The weeds, stinging nettle, copperheads, mutated giant grasshoppers, and native plants have taken over my formerly fantastic 1/2 acre iris bed. The grasshopper have eaten the foliage to a raggedy about 1/3 of what it should be. The heat has been so bad many have dried up so I started sprinkling with overhead water. Water does not stand in the hot sands. I fertilized in the early spring with pelleted 9-24-24
In the very early mornings I am trying to get out early to weed a bit. I am finding some rot on the ones that haven't dried up and amputating & sprinkling the rhizome with Comet cleanser.....any advice other than giving up?
Jul 30, 2011 1:23 PM CST
|Went back to weeding in that iris bed. Found lots of dead shriveled up leaves and cleaned those all up. Pulled and still pulling any leaves that easily break off to neaten everything up and dry it up as far as rot might go. It looks so much better without weeds LOL! Not that it is finished yet.|
Jul 30, 2011 2:21 PM CST
|This is what I was referring to in speaking of old mother rhizomes. I see a lot of this, usually the second year after blooming. They will be withered and 'corky' when broken open. During hot, wet times they can become mushy. Usually, the healthy increases are not affected.|
Jul 30, 2011 2:33 PM CST
|These that I am talking about are all ones that bloomed this spring as this bed was only planted last summer. They are not like those dried up ones of yours in the picture. |
I think most will be ok but I am just going to have to watch it and keep those weeds out of this bed. Much better for the iris, more air and sun so stay drier.
Jul 30, 2011 2:50 PM CST
|Lack of moving air is a prime cause of iris problems. I can tell a huge difference in the quality of both the plant and flowers when they are separated. I like an initial separation of nearly 3 feet if it is possible. This was a single rhizome planted last summer and bloomed this spring. It is in a corner of a multi-purpose bed along with glads and hybrid lilies.|
Jul 30, 2011 3:01 PM CST
|Jerry, your iris really look good.|
Jul 30, 2011 3:18 PM CST
|very informative NYRita thanks for posting this.|
Jul 31, 2011 6:52 PM CST
|jackieshar-- very sorry about your gardening troubles. With luck the native plants will survive & you will have something great to look at. Have your grown spuria irises? They might work as they like dry summers, talk to Dee.|
Aug 5, 2011 12:44 PM CST
|Some of the backyard area that I converted from the veggie bed to iris and daylilies. This iris bed is in the middle. I kept iris by themselves because of the fact that they rot and don't want to be mulched. They really do look much better now that they got weeded. |
Aug 5, 2011 1:26 PM CST
|Yes, they look really good! Wish you'd fly out here and do mine!|
Aug 5, 2011 1:44 PM CST
|Two reasons I got rid of the veggie bed. One I really needed more room and two the tomatoes in the middle there just didn't look so pretty when I had garden all around. Making it garden in the middle really made that back area so pretty.|
Aug 5, 2011 3:27 PM CST
|Well it is stunning - really stunning! All I can say is I hope my garden next year looks half that good! |