Irises forum→Wish me luck!?

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Name: Jess
Grandview Iowa 5b (Zone 5b)
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JLKelley
Jun 21, 2018 8:32 PM CST
I just ordered three Japanese iris, and have never grown them before!! Blinking

Anyone grow them? Any tips?
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 22, 2018 6:49 AM CST
All I can tell you is how I grow mine !! I "dug out" a trench, about 16" deep, 3' wide, and as long as "needed(for the number you intend to plant), lined it with rubber roofing membrane (a few layers of plastic sheeting would work), but leaving the top 4", or so, of the trench "uncovered".....then filled it to the top with "peat" soil , mixed with "composted cow manure", and some "river muck" I got from our local riverbank......the "peat" is naturally acidic (slightly), and really holds water (as does the "cow poop", I added some "garden sulfer" to get the ph where I wanted it, planted the rhizomes, and mulched the area with pine straw (also helps with ph)…...twice a year.....spring and late summer....I fertilize and add more sulfer. Our dirt is very sandy, and while our springs are "wet", our summers and early falls are dry..."rain wise". The humidity is brutal, though, once the corn gets going !!
Anyway, that has worked well for me for the JI's, and LA's
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 22, 2018 8:36 AM CST
Sounds like a pretty good summation. JI's love water so they will respond well to being given an extra watering during dry periods. Because they like so much water they are heavy feeders (the water dilutes out the fertilizer) so the compose, manure and fertilizer keep them happy. Whatever you do, do NOT feed them any bone meal or spread lime near them. Both will kill your Japanese iris.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Jess
Grandview Iowa 5b (Zone 5b)
Heirlooms Irises Cottage Gardener Daylilies
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JLKelley
Jun 22, 2018 1:55 PM CST
Arlyn, I'm assuming the trench and plastic is just for water retention?

The place I was thinking of putting them that is 'wet' (is where I have gutter overflow during storms) and I've only gotten a hosta to grow) would be an 'ok' spot is exposed to the north and I'm worried what the winter will do..

I did see the post on the AIS blog about containers for JI's.. Is this easy to keep watered?
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Jun 22, 2018 2:02 PM CST
You may want to check out this piece from Chad Harris who has hybridized some fantastic JI's.

http://mtpleasantiris.com/cult...
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jun 22, 2018 4:52 PM CST
Yes, the "liner" is to keep the moisture from seeping away, in our sandy soil. As to "winter"....I have the same...or slightly colder...weather as you, and mine do fine, but, as I said, I DO have them mulched with pine straw.
Name: Jess
Grandview Iowa 5b (Zone 5b)
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JLKelley
Jun 22, 2018 5:10 PM CST
This is the article I seen, just on the AIS blog. This section is what has me questioning if I should just plant them underground to start with...

Winter Dormancy:After a light freeze, cut all foliage off at container level. In mild winter areas (USDA Zone 8-9 for Spec-X and Iris laevigata), containers can remain in the pools all winter (Japanese iris, zone 9). In colder climates, lift the containers from the flooding pools and bury to the rim in a prepared bed with a good mulch cover. In the spring, return the containers to the flooding pool, fertilizing after new growth starts to appear. After bloom, lift the plants, divide and start over.

If I need to bury them for the winter, wouldn't it be better to just start them there?
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jun 22, 2018 5:10 PM CST
Good luck Jess! Crossing Fingers!

Great growing tips Arlyn and Leslie! Thumbs up
Name: Mary
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
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urania1
Jun 22, 2018 5:16 PM CST
I plant my JIs in the "bog," a handy little spot that is perpetually wet because grey water drains there. I keep the spot topped off with goat compost. The JIs seem happy.

Name: Jess
Grandview Iowa 5b (Zone 5b)
Heirlooms Irises Cottage Gardener Daylilies
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JLKelley
Aug 9, 2018 11:16 AM CST
Ok I think I have a first year solution. I wanted to find a place where I can keep a close eye on them and easy access to a water supply. This is easy faceing and full summer sun until 2 ish. I have peat and soil to mix. But I haven't find a local source for pine straw.


What do you think?


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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Aug 9, 2018 12:49 PM CST
Should work fine, I would think ! As to the pine straw mulch....for winter protection, almost anything that "doesn't pack down" would be OK. The benefit of the pine needles, for me, is as they decompose, they help acidify the soil. My neighbor has some pines, and, if I time it right.....after he rakes, and before he burns...they are REAL easy to get Rolling my eyes. !
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
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irisarian
Aug 9, 2018 3:06 PM CST
JI like acidic soil which is why they like New England. We don't happen to grow them, but they do well here.
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lestv
Aug 9, 2018 7:38 PM CST
Keep them moist and they are going to love that location. Pine mulch will be a good sub for pine needles. Don't use cedar mulch as cedar has growth inhibitors.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Jess
Grandview Iowa 5b (Zone 5b)
Heirlooms Irises Cottage Gardener Daylilies
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JLKelley
Aug 10, 2018 8:22 AM CST
Ok I think I have a first year solution. I wanted to find a place where I can keep a close eye on them and easy access to a water supply. This is easy faceing and full summer sun until 2 ish. I have peat and soil to mix. But I haven't find a local source for pine straw.


What do you think?


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Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Region: North Carolina Irises Cat Lover Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers hot summers Peonies
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lestv
Aug 10, 2018 12:44 PM CST
I think you should also add some aged manure, like Black Cow. They do like it. I have tons of pine needles, but usually mulch mine instead. Silly of me really since the pine needles are free.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
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evelyninthegarden
Aug 10, 2018 7:56 PM CST
Jess ~ Are you growing bearded irises or Japanese Irises?
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Jess
Grandview Iowa 5b (Zone 5b)
Heirlooms Irises Cottage Gardener Daylilies
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JLKelley
Sep 28, 2018 11:54 AM CST
evelyninthegarden said:Jess ~ Are you growing bearded irises or Japanese Irises?


The ones for this spot are Japanese. They came in this week, and we are having a cold snap this weekend.
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