Irises forum: Theoretical borer musings

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Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 9, 2018 4:41 AM CST
Theoretically, if I move the orphans I was able to save from my borer plague to a new area and make a cheesecloth or netting tent over them before the borer moths hatch, would it protect them this fall?
I tried the borer squish technique this spring, but when I went down the leaf there was just thick goo and I couldn't see any borers. Eventually, however I did find some still in the leaf. I assume this is what my plague of rot is this year.
Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 9, 2018 4:49 AM CST
I plan to start a new nursery bed with gravel mulch and plant rhizomes of favorite irises as well as rescued orphans to keep them safe for this year while I sort out the big patch. That's why I will try the netting or cheesecloth covering, so any flying moths won't lay eggs on them. How tiny would the holes need to be? Do you think ordinary netting from the fabric store would work?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 9, 2018 6:33 AM CST
Well, I suppose a "tent" would keep things out....but if you "Transplant" a borer...or eggs...into the bed, along with the irises Shrug! . And , IMHO, that would be a real easy thing to do, as the eggs,...as well as small adults...are pretty easy to overlook ! Maybe , ...if you are "anti chemical"...you could invest in some nematodes, to treat the "new" bed ? And, if you aren't "anti-chemical"....just treat with IT, and do the existing beds, as well Shrug!
Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 9, 2018 12:16 PM CST
Aren't nematodes prohibitively expensive? And what is IT?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 9, 2018 1:51 PM CST
"IT" would be the "chemical", and expensive is a "relative term". I used the "scanmask" sprayable, from here:
https://biologicco.com/product...

and . IF they last as long as they say (before retreatment is needed...18 months) it will actually be cheaper than the *Bayer grub control and the other stuff I use, now Shrug! . Some folks have real good luck with nematodes, but, it remains to be seen whether they will work out for me.
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Jun 10, 2018 2:57 AM CST
Thanks for that link, Arlyn. I don't have iris borers, but I do have thrips aplenty.
Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 10, 2018 5:32 AM CST
How many of you in borer territory use merit and how many are able to control the pest without chemicals?
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 10, 2018 5:58 AM CST
I use Bayer's grub control in the spring after the new leaves start to grow.
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: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Peonies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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TBGDN
Jun 10, 2018 6:30 AM CST
This is offered only from my personal experiences. I am sure sure there are plenty of "borer experiences" out there. This is not an endorsement or recommendation of any commercial product. At one time Ortho offered a product known as a "systemic insect killer". That was several years ago; and I think the EPA has (had) ruled against it. It is no longer available that I am aware because of safety concerns. Long story short; Bonide had a product last year which was available. Now Bayer has the granular form available which I have (and still do) use. This has been mentioned in Tom's post above. It sure helps me.

Borer control is an ongoing fight for iris growers in the eastern U. S. & Canada. The last time I checked borers are not found in the western states. No matter what is used I highly advise reading the directions for use; especially the fine print which I can barely read. Safety in using insecticides is critical. Here is something I wrote back a few years ago. It might be useful to someone out there. https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

Some product pictures that I (previously) or still use.
Thumb of 2018-06-10/TBGDN/3dfcb5 Thumb of 2018-06-10/TBGDN/457d74 Thumb of 2018-06-10/TBGDN/40fdce Thumb of 2018-06-10/TBGDN/2eb184

Even a fool, when he shuts his mouth, is counted (as being) wise.Proverbs 17:28
MY BLOG
[Last edited by TBGDN - Jun 10, 2018 9:44 AM (+)]
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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Polymerous
Jun 11, 2018 12:10 AM CST
Ughh! Those borer images! Ughh!

(Am I a bad person to be happy that I don't have them here?)
Evaluating a reblooming diploid daylily seedling
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Peonies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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TBGDN
Jun 11, 2018 5:28 AM CST
Marilyn, You are fortunate not to have them. Crossing Fingers! I am "bad" when I find one. Thumbs down
Even a fool, when he shuts his mouth, is counted (as being) wise.Proverbs 17:28
MY BLOG
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
Image
DaveinPA
Jun 11, 2018 6:49 AM CST
Just to add to the disgust for those enjoying borer pics:

Thumb of 2018-06-11/DaveinPA/55b7ac What was found when rhizome dug

Thumb of 2018-06-11/DaveinPA/126f42 The critter removed, but before meeting his/her fate. (No pics of the 'after' results.)

Thumb of 2018-06-11/DaveinPA/d0cf7b After cleaning, letting area scab over and planting. It grew well the next season.

All of this is too much work if you have lots of them, so prevention is best.

Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 12, 2018 5:34 AM CST
I am strongly leaning toward resuming use of bayer merit next spring on anything that may be left after this year. I am seeing notched and badly rotted leaves and have been cutting out each rhizome connected to it. Curiously, I am not finding any borer tunnels in the rhizomes. Nor am I seeing any of the sawdust like frass on the ground. Maybe it is too early for that because of our late spring?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 12, 2018 6:48 AM CST
I think most are probably still in the leaves Shrug! ,
Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 12, 2018 8:35 AM CST
Is there any advantage to just cutting off the rotted leaves and leaving the rhizome if it hasn't tunneled yet?
South central PA (Zone 6a)
Irises Region: Pennsylvania
Image
DaveinPA
Jun 12, 2018 3:20 PM CST
Good way to go, just take off the bad foliage and trash it. Check the rhizome where the leaves came off and cut back any soft areas allowing the cut to sun/air dry. No need to even take the clump out of the ground. Sometimes foliage or stalks get mushy and rhizome is not affected. Many can be saved.
Name: Sharon
McGregor IA (Zone 4b)
caitlinsgarden
Jun 13, 2018 4:56 AM CST
Will the rhizome sprout new foliage if you leave it?

Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 13, 2018 9:31 AM CST
Yes
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Keeps Horses Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener Irises Permaculture Dog Lover
Cat Lover Birds
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LynNY
Jun 13, 2018 9:46 AM CST
Thanks to everyone for all this info
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Irises Birds Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Clematis
Image
janielouy
Jun 13, 2018 7:17 PM CST
I have used the Bonide product in the picture and also the Bayer Two-in-One granules for several years now. This year I did not have many borers except where the drench or granules did not land. The trouble with those products is that they only last for about 6-8 weeks so you must reapply.
The moths are not high flyers so tend to swing off of bushes or nearby foliage (in my case, my clematis) to get to the irises to lay eggs.
And YES, they are so gross and very hard to squish!!

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