You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Age not a factor when it comes to irises
Q. My neighbor gave me a bunch of old, dried-out iris bulbs that he says will grow if I just plant them. I am doubtful. Are they as tough as he says?
A. Yes, irises are a great plant for central and south Texas. They have attractive, evergreen foliage and magnificent blooms in February (Cemetery) or March (Dutch or German). Irises are drought-tolerant and deer-proof.
Plant the rhizomes in a sunny location where water does not accumulate. A key-planting requirement is to place the rhizomes in the ground so that the top is level with the soil surface. They do not do well in soggy soil or if buried too deep. For the same reason, do not mulch irises. Even rhizomes that have been out of the ground for several years can recover to bloom after one growing season.
Q. I have just retired and want to get heavily into gardening to fill my time. I will garden more at home, but what are the best organizations to join?
A. Every year I produce a Gardening Resolution article that lists lots of ways to use your gardening skills and interests to meet the gardener’s needs and to contribute to the community. Go to plantanswers.com or wctc.tamu.edu/columns/ to check out the suggestions.
Check with your local school and/or gardening club to see what they do. You can also join the closest Master Gardener chapter. Master Gardeners offer great training and volunteer opportunities in youth education, beautification projects, and environmental programs. Chapters exist in Bexar, Comal, Gonzales, and Guadalupe counties. Call the respective county courthouses or Google the chapter for contact and enrollment information. Master gardeners are affiliated with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Calvin Finch is a horticulturist and the director of the Water Conservation and Technology Center at Texas A&M-San Antonio. Hear him on “Gardening South Texas” on KLUP 930 AM radio Saturdays noon to 2 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Or, email him at email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Beef cattle seven-year decline ends (May 18, 2016)
Educational video for water well owners (May 18, 2016)
Free Beef Quality Assurance training set for May 25 (May 18, 2016)
Fretwell wins Region 8 high school all around rookie saddle (May 18, 2016)
Grant to restore, enhance the monarch butterfly habitat (May 18, 2016)
Grass-fed beef conference (May 18, 2016)
Gun safety and barbecue in New Braunfels (May 18, 2016)
La Vernia Poultry Judging wins state, advances to nationals (May 18, 2016)
Lawn, landscape, rainwater program May 21 in Floresville (May 18, 2016)
Lesser prairie chicken off the list (May 18, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 18, 2016)
Luling Foundation Field Day (May 18, 2016)
Protecting your tomatoes (May 18, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 18, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 18, 2016)
As El Nińo fades, expect warmer, drier weather says Texas A&M expert (May 11, 2016)
Floresville team wins second at state (May 11, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 11, 2016)
Llamas, load up! (May 11, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 11, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 11, 2016)
Transplanting mountain laurels (May 11, 2016)
2016 La Vernia Junior Livestock & Poultry Show (May 4, 2016)
Beef, forage symposium May 10 (May 4, 2016)
Cattle raisers’ crime watch (May 4, 2016)
Corn acreage increases in Texas (May 4, 2016)
Help controlling the weeds (May 4, 2016)
Krueger leads the way at La Vernia stock show (May 4, 2016)
Land Heritage nomination deadline nears (May 4, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 4, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 4, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 4, 2016)
May 2016 Gardening Calendar (May 1, 2016)