Sunday, November 04, 2012

Irises.

The 3rd raised bed is completed. Soil is from a pile behind the house. Again, mixing with compost as I filled. Maybe about 20% compost by volume. This time it's for flowers. Saving space for the spring shipment of irises. Plus added a row of Anemone rhizomes at the front. No idea if they will grow. They were like little rocks. Dry and hard.  Could have soaked them first. In this climate, with rain expected for the next 4 months, that seems excessive.  So I did not soak them.  I"m growing the Irises in a grid.  I'm not interested here in them as landscaping.  I like the flowers for themselves. The bed is just under 4 X 8, and the irises are about 7 across and 3 deep.  So a little more than a square foot each.  The smaller growing ones are toward the front.
The three iris rhizomes here with, white leaves are from dried-out shipments / store bought.  No confidence they will grow planting so late.  The far right, back one is Red Zinger, a medium size iris I wanted to try.   The lower right one is a rescue, I saved from bacterial rot this summer.  Diety.  Between them, I planted 2 rows of iris seeds from this summer's hybridization effort.  By planting them in the beds, there is minimal maintenance.
I planted some of the containerized irises. I've been coddling them for months. Four have died from bacterial rot. None of the in-ground irises did. Maybe that means, container method is not so good? The potting soil is not so good?  Mostly I want this bed for heritage irises, but some are modern.  I did not water them in.  I planted a little shallower than they were in containers. They had excellent root growth.  I tried not to disturb the roots.  No use spreading the root out.  Iris roots are deciduous, die off and are replaced as new rhizomes grow.

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