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
County committee nomination period begins (June 22, 2016)
Hartmann takes the steer by the horns to win state championship (June 22, 2016)
La Vernia FFA wraps up school year with honors, scholarships (June 22, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 22, 2016)
Root rot knocks out roses (June 22, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 22, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 22, 2016)
A student’s ag-related journey (June 15, 2016)
Family Land Heritage news (June 15, 2016)
Five dirty truths on agriculture (June 15, 2016)
Horseherb galloping through yards (June 15, 2016)
Kristin Storey: South Texas queen to compete for national title (June 15, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 15, 2016)
Miller announces assistance for farmers devastated by floods (June 15, 2016)
No “rain, rain, go away” as precipitation persists (June 15, 2016)
Schwartz takes lead as Texas state veterinarian (June 15, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 15, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 15, 2016)
Texas Rural Leadership Program (June 15, 2016)
It’s almost rodeo time in Stockdale (June 8, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 8, 2016)
Save seed pods for next fall (June 8, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 8, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 8, 2016)
Big Time Texas Hunts entries now on sale (June 1, 2016)
Burbridge leads the way in Buck Taylor roping event (June 1, 2016)
Farm Bureau solicits AgLead, FarmLead participants (June 1, 2016)
June 2016 Gardening Calendar (June 1, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 1, 2016)
Save squash from vine borers (June 1, 2016)
State Farm Bureau testifies on agricultural use valuation (June 1, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 1, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 1, 2016)