I'll start this off, and anyone can join in ! I just received my *first* iris order for this year. It's from "Cynthia's iris" ,in Arkansas. If you order "early" you have the option of getting "spring" shipment, and, I have had pretty good luck with spring planting.
I ordered 5, and she included two bonus plants ( you get to choose your bonus). The rhizomes are healthy looking, and of 'average" size. My folks lived in her area for about 30 years, and their iris always did well, but, the rhizomes aren't those huge ones, like the west coast has. Her prices are very fair, she has a good selection of both "moderns", and "historics"....and is starting to get quite a few Re's, as well. This is about the 4th year I've ordered from her.
Most of these will go in pots, for a while, Marilyn......my "temporary bed" is still "un tilled". I'm going to try "solarizing" the areas in the existing beds where the rot has been a problem....so all the "replacement" iris are going into a temp bed until their "regular quarters" are "disinfected" ! There are a couple of these that are "new to me" and I have a spot in the ground, for them, although, I may pot them, too. The "potting" seems to get a quicker start to a good root system.
There are two places that I have dealt with that "spring ship".....if you order early enough, and , of course, if you want it that way. I've had pretty good luck with spring planting, too. *occasionally*, I'll even get a bloom that first year, although, I think that weakens the plant. Comparing "spring planted" to "September planted".....spring works out better for me. I'm sure climate and soil conditions are the dictating factors in when the *best* time is. I always try to specify early July as a shipment date from most vendors....and that works well. August is too hot, and dry, and it seems that , without potting them, the iris just sit there without starting new root growth....no matter how much I water them. September planting usually sees a quicker start to root growth.....but they aren't 'advanced" enough by the time things start shutting down for the season.
I received my 2nd order of the year, today.....about 20, "mostly" new to me, but some were replacements. Plant's were nice, and freshly dug.....some I 'planted out", but most went into pots.....the bed they will live in is one I'm "solarizing", and we have a week of very hot, sunny weather coming, and I decided to wait a week more, before I pull the plastic off .
Talk about "clearing", .......I have a spot, about 6'X15', that had a "smattering" of things in it a few SDB's a few OLD historics, some from the 70's......."A dog from every town", as my Dad would have said ! Anyway, these have been gradualy moved out this year.....if they needed "treatment", I dug, treated, and then 'relocated" them. It was down to 6 SDB's and one "old timer", so, this afternoon.....I dug them, and set them in the shade ( Doesn't appear that there is any rot, in any of them, although, the clumps do need "broken up"), added one "bucket full" of "junk dirt", tilled it twice, and compacted it. Tomorrow, I'll apply a "top coat" of sand...and I'll be ready to start "planting back".....I think it will be "all medians" and maybe an MDB, or two. I've been wanting a place to put all my "Burtons", and 'Warburtons".....
This has been a pretty busy week, as far as iris planting goes....three "iris buddy" boxes....one was a dozen rhizomes.....a "rescue box".....11 in that one, and a "big" order from Blue J......over 40, counting the bonus irises. I like Blue J's selections, and their pricing, and the plants are healthy enough, even though some are always on the "smallish" side....but I sure do wish they left the roots on them ! Even dry, dead ones help to anchor the plant...but when there aren't ANY, planting can be a stuggle. I use wire "hooks', or landscape staples, to hold them down, and that DOES work, but, it's MORE work, and then you have to go back, later, and pull the wires out.
I never had an order from BluJ so thanks for the warning Arlyn. Will plan to use staples or rocks to hold them in place.
Nothing arrived today so no planting. Did finish the lawn here and daughter next door that was started yesterday to force the shower to come which worked. And the trimming, and some weed spray. The 40 by 4 bed is dug up except for part of one edge that still had too much sod; also a 15 by 2 bed is ready for a single row of irises except I put in some "placeholder" tomatoes, pepper and potatoes. They should help loosen the soil but may have some irises interspersed to get them started. I am sure the irises will stake a permanent claim on the entire bed!
We did get a quick shower today, maybe .05" while yesterday we got around .25" in several showers. Helped the soil a bit, especially the recently planted rhizomes.
You would think that iris farms would know how difficult it is to plant rhizomes without roots! I'm sure they wouldn't cut their own roots off. I always breathe a sigh of relief whe I unwrap an iris parcel and find roots on them!