Help Me....I'm on the brink of Doing Something Bad

jmcbackyarddigger(z6b So IL)September 7, 2008

I love iris. In the spring and in the spring only.

I do not weed as I should, but when I compare the care needed to keep them looking nice.....compared to the little care needed to keep my hosta looking nice....

Well....the fact is....I'm about to give up some space...a lot of it, in make my gardening easier. Yes, I'm thinking of giving up iris for hosta.

It pains me, but I am so tired of dealing with all of the weeds that grow between the rhizomes of the same plant.


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)


Don't do it!
I don't have the time now to explain 'why' but will be back later. some sense into this member please. There is a reason why Iris is the favorite forum and hosta is second.

Sue...who has peaches to finish up now

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 9:30PM
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wmoores(7/8 MS)

Have you ever tried preemergent herbicides that will reduce your weeding to a minimum? I thought hostas needed shade. Bearded irises won't bloom in a shade garden. My hostas are in a shade garden, and some of them look ratty right now because of high temperatures. Critters have also dined on a few. Earlier, hail split the leaves. Is there a perfect plant? I don't know of one.

Keep your irises!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 7:17AM
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Keep your irises!

I understand the pain that weeds are, but you can use a pre-emergent as suggested or I have successfully used strips of newspaper placed on the ground between your plants with mulch on top. The mulch doesn't have to cover the rhizome for it to be most beneficial in stopping weeds. Try these three things together before you give up on irises.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 2:14PM
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Holy smokes, Batman, me thinks the person is having an anxiety attack!!!!!!!!!
For crying out loud, I am just back indoors after spending the morning, raising my iris' to be sure they get plenty of sun to bloom next season.
I got some new ones from Sue, and as I was planting, thought, well, those darn buggers didn't come up and bloom this year, so you're gonna get a lift! A lot of them did, but some are difficult, I do keep an eye on that.
I am in Wisconsin, the foliage still looks quite nice, at least mine do, and I am thinking, the hosta look a little pooped out. If slugs get to them, they look like netting, and they start losing their green leaves for yellow now also. The iris are still green tho here and there are a few dried stalks, and leaves.
Don't do anything foolish, those iris are the most lovely blossom, so delicate, tho they don't last long, granted, the beauty alone is certainly worth a little extra effort, I feel anyway, and I have a small garden. I had thought too, once of giving them up, but when folks appreciate what you do, and you enjoy it also, why would I get rid of beauty?
I go along with the previous posters, even not weeding all the time, they can look alright, and mulch works for me too. The colors, the fraility of the bloom, don't you appreciate that? Stop and think a moment or 2, weigh the consequences, take a few minutes in the spring to throw some Preen, or whatever you would use, and see what happens?
Good luck, and let us know your decision after they bloom next season!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Deer eat hostas but not iris this is good enough for me to love iris over hostas. Not to mention the show you get in the spring from iris. Besides like was stated before, hosta are for shade and iris are for sun.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:52PM
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mtshasta_sis(06 N CA)

OK my turn, I do love my Hosta's and plants in the shade don't have the weeds. My 400 iris are in full sun mostly. I have used 100% natural corn gluten preemergent for 5 years, twice a year and it works super great. It may be a bit hard to find but I would push for a good store to order it. Why have you not heard of it?, is because they are not a chemical co. who can afford to adv. I use 1, 50lb sack twice a year and spread it lightly.
I am using it now, very lightly, (powder bright yellow),
%100 natural fertilizer CORN WEED BLOCKER 9-1-0.
DOWN TO EARTH DISTRIBUTORS.COM (INC) EUGENE OREGON 97440 PO BOX 1419, no POISON, turns to fertilizer. So little is used that I would not worry about the 9.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 2:03PM
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I used to have 400 iris.....I let the weeds kill about half!!! I feel like you, I work FULL time, I'm not spending my time OFF weeding. SO today I'm digging up my over grown iris bed.....60' X 6'. I'm gonna raise it up with windsor stones(costs a fortune!), haul in top soil, screen in the edges to keep out the pocket gophers, put in plastic lawn edgin in front of that.....put down newspaper around the tubers,then top with bark mulch.....redo the sprinkler system to do a better job! Then buy some of this premergent corn weed blocker mentioned. GREAT TIP!!!! THANK YOU!!!! I'm NOT giving up......just thinking about all the work ahead of me is daunting....:0) I'm digging today....

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 10:05AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Nicole, it sounds like a big fun project that will be fabulous next season. I am a firm believer in putting forth a lot of extra effort when prepping a bed for anything. It pays off in the long run, in the plants thriving and being quite carefree, even if just for a while.

I too will have to check out that Corn Weed Blocker.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:24AM
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mshadow(z4 MI)

DON'T DO IT!! Below is a picture of my iris garden right now. Because of my broken arm in June, I haven't been able to do much of anything. I did weed my bed behind the house, but with 1 hand, and it took a long time. My husband planted tomatoes but won't help with my irises. I am not giving up! Right now I am working full time, plus going to physical therapy 3 days a week and really don't have a lot of free time, but it will get done. Next year I definitely will use Preen, or some other preemergent. Might be getting to cool outside to use Round Up right now, but I might try that too. If I am successful, I will post an after picture. Even though iris season is short, they are too beautiful to do away with.


Belive it or not, about 150 irises hiding in there.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 12:14PM
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I hate pocket gophers. They seem to eat everything but daffodils. We built a flowerbed out front beyond the lawn. I dug it out and my husband spend extra time laying wire before laying down the brick and those little rascals still got in and ate some of my iris. Every time my cats catches one I do a little happy dance. It is a pain in the rear to have to wire everything you plant.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:01PM
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I put red shale around all of my Irises, which keeps the weeds down, and provides a beautiful contrast to the greenery when the iris flowers have long passed. I would not trade an iris for a hosta for love nor money, and besides the sweet smell of the iris in the morning when the dew is shimmering on them is simply too lovely to pass up.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 12:28AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

What does this corn weed blocker work on? I have yellow wood sorrel all over my garden, especially between the irises. I keep pulling before it can seed but it is seeding in from somewhere (probably a neighborÂs yard) that I canÂt find.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that corn meal gluten just creates a "barrier" that new, emerging seedings / plants have a hard breaking through. Existing plants have not problems because they are already beyond the barrier. I'd love to have more information if I've misunderstood!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:02PM
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caroline_2008(Z 6)

Don't get rid of your iris!!!! I am thinking you will regret it later, they are so lovely,I dug all mine up, because of grass and reworked the bed and replanted them, they were needing dividing, got a 5 gallon bucket full, shared them with friends. I also have hosta, I like too,
but they are not as showy as iris. Happy gardening, caroline.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:43PM
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Corn gluten meal inhibits weed growth by preventing growth of the root. The seed germinates, but without the root development, the seedling dies. I have used CGM in my lawn spreader as a weed and feed product with very good results.

After being an organic gardener for the past 30+ years, this year I started over spraying my iris and daylilies with onrnamec to kill the grass. It worked so well, I plan to keep it as part of my gardening regime.

I agree with the other posters, you should keep your iris.


Here is a link that might be useful: this product saved me days of weeding!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 6:22AM
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