PLANTING TIPS

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PLANTING TIPS

 

GROWING TIPS

 

 

  1. Irises are not heavy nitrogen feeders. Use compost, well-rotted manure, fish fertilizer, or commercial fertilizers with a low first number (nitrogen) to amend your soil. Commercial fertilizer with compound numbers of 6-35-10 is an ideal spring tonic. A fall blend of 0-13-18 is ideal for preplanting or side-dressing.

 

  1. Avoid rot. You can reduce your risk of soft rot by planting the rhizome in a well-drained location and eliminating high nitrogen fertilizers.

 

 

  1. Irises do not like wet feet.  Plant only in well-drained beds. You can improve drainage by using raised beds, planting on a slope, or mounding the soil where the iris is to be planted. If your soil is heavy, course sand, gypsum, or compost worked into the soil will help to improve drainage.

 

  1. Watch for leaf spot. Brown spots, caused by a fungal infection, may begin to appear on Irises in the spring or at anytime the weather is wet for prolonged periods. Disease pressure is high in May and June. At he first sign of leaf spot, treat with fungicide approved for use on Irises. Daconil is and example, mix ratio is 1 Tablespoon per gallon. Repeat every 7 to 10 days as needed.

 

 

  1. Control slugs. Slugs are among the few pests that seem to like Iris. They can do an incredible amount of damage if left unchecked. Keep area around Irises clear of garden clutter and dead leaves. A good , rain tolerant, slug bait applied at the manufactures recommended rate will control these critters and keep the Irises strong and healthy.

 

  1. Irises prefer slightly acidic soil. The ideal pH for irises is 6.8.Check soil pH prior to planting – kits can be obtained at most garden stores and often Extension Services will test soil samples for free. If the soil is acidic – treat with lime. If the soil is alkaline - treat with sulfur.

 

 

  1. Irises prefer full sun, but can tolerate some shade. To bloom consistently, Irises need a minimum of 6 hours of full sun per day.

 

  1. Potted Irises can be transplanted anytime. Just slip the iris from the pot, keeping the root ball intact. Be careful not to plant too deep – the top of the rhizome should show.

 

 

  1. Do not plant Irises too deep. The rhizome should be planted so the top is visible and open to the sun. In extremely hot climates or in very sandy soil, the top of the rhizome may be covered by no more that ¼” soil.

 

  1. Generally, Irises should be planted 12 to 24” apart. For clump effect, they may be planted 6-8” apart in a circle with the fans on the outside. Spacing between the “clumps” should be 2-3 feet.

 

 

  1. Do not over water. Occasional deep watering is better than frequent shallow watering. Do not keep Irises wet – it can promote bacterial soft rot. Once established, Irises are very drought tolerant.

 

  1. After blooming, the stems should be cut off close to the rhizome and removed from the garden.

 

 

  1. Healthy green leaves should be left undisturbed. Brown and diseased leaves should be cut back and removed from the garden.

 

  1. Irises are at their prime in 2-year clumps. Avoid overcrowding. Irises should be thinned and separated every 3-4 years.

 

 

  1. The best time to separate and move Irises is after they have bloomed but before they begin to set on new growth. July, August and September are ideal times to transplant.

 

  1. In the fall, the Iris leaves can be cutback into a fan. The foliage that is cutback should be removed from the garden. This will help to control pests and disease.

 

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