Monday, May 3, 2021

Time For Replant

By Mel and Bailey Schiller

We are closely watching all the wonderful blooms from our Facebook friends from the other side of the world, pondering what we are missing out on this season! We are completely opposite in our transition of the seasons. It is Autumn here.

Autumn is where we get busy...real busy! 

In this blog we thought we would discuss the re-plant of our bearded iris field.

We finalize sales for the beginning of March each year, leaving us to concentrate on sorting which iris will stay and which will go from our garden and catalogue. Not all varieties grow as well as we hope.  We aim to have great garden varieties that survive on little care and water. That is probably one of the aims of every hybridizer! Alas, some varieties grown in different conditions get spotty rust covered leaves and are prone to rotting (even though water is limited in our garden). 

Bailey has cleared the field completely! It is the 1st time we have done re-plant this way...I would say we are 1/2 way at the moment! We would normally re-plant section by section going from our catalogue as a guide.

Bailey and myself like our field to be easily accessible and understood by ourselves and our garden visitors.

The past couple iris seasons Bailey has opted to align the field with our print catalogue that he produces, displaying our stock for the current Iris Season. Everything is in alphabetical order and easy to find.



Why do we re-plant?

We re-plant for many reasons.

1. Our catalogue of varieties is huge. This way we stay highly organized and can find the ordered varieties easily as everything is alphabetically listed as per the sections in our catalogue.

2. After we have dug customer orders the clumps are left in disarray as we select the very best plants for our orders. This means plants may be dug from the middle of the clump and other rhizomes are lifted in the process.


3. At the end of the iris season it is a much easier way for us to tidy the plants after bloom as well as the outer leaves of the rhizome which die back. We lift the entire variety, tidy it and it is put back in the ground. The trimming takes time!


We are extremely careful to keep each variety in its own crate so cross contamination doesn't occur, the varieties do not get mixed up.


4. We dig orders every season. By re-planting every year we can access good sized plants for orders singularly.....have you tried digging a 3-4 year old clump just for one or two plants when the rhizomes are entwined and on top of one another? Being re-planted every year this does not happen.


5. We believe the plant re-growth is much better, the rhizomes are encouraged to spread their wings into a mix of fresh soil that has been replenished with legume straw and fertilizer. We mulch our walkways with legume straw which is rotary hoed into the soil next season.


We trim the iris into a fan shape as the iris grow from the middle leaf and also for cosmetic reasons! We also tend to trim the leaves quite short so the wind doesn't blow them out of the ground.


This is Part 1, the plants coming out of the ground..... Part 2 will be the plants going back into the ground!

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...