Friday, August 21, 2009

August Iris Care

The clumps of bearded irises are becoming crowded and messy. I didn't weed or water them this summer. They are not hurt much, if at all, by the lack of watering. The weeds didn't grow much due to the same factor, but there were still enough to need maintenance.

August is the perfect time to dig up and replant irises in this area. It's dry enough that they shouldn't rot when replanted, while they become established and the ground settles again.

This group is in a very raised-bed, with a loosely built retaining wall. The bed is about 2 ft high, constructed due to a slope. It is filled with yard soil (clay/sand) mixed with compost.

"Before" - This is the "found" variety, yellow standards with auburn falls. The ground was dry and loose, so they were fairly easy to dig.

I pulled out the weeds. That is much easier to do after digging the irises up. The leaves were trimmed, the oldest, deteriorating rhizomes cut off, and woven-together rhizomes were separated. In most cases, I separated down to 2 or 3 'fans' of leaves per new division.

Soil was supplemented with generous amounts of chicken compost and crushed eggshells (for the calcium). Some additional soil was taken from the garden, to raise the level back near the top of the wall. The dark-leaf tree in the center is the Hollywood Plum, planted in February 2009. It's grown nicely.

"You paid HOW MUCH for that puny thing? Yes, I did. Yes, it's puny. Impulse buy at local store. I added this one for variety. It looks too small to bloom next spring - we'll see!

No comments:

Post a Comment