Week 13 – Summer clean up in the Hell Strip


Around the garden today:

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Today the apprentices split iris and cleaned up what Rob calls the Hell Strip.  This is the piece of land between the sidewalk and the street.  It’s hard to mow and water so why not put some plants in there that don’t need much attention.  Some nice blooming Spring bulbs and xeric plants that can pretty much take care of themselves.

There are a bunch of dwarf iris in Rob’s Hell Strip that have been neglected for a while.  They aren’t producing as well as they might so it’s time to dig them up and split them so next year they’ll produce bigger, healthier blooms.

Iris are easy to split. Most of them will just break apart.  There will be some mushy or dried up pieces you can dispose of.  The nice meaty ones will be nice and white and hard.  Just snap them apart and if you have some really long ones that have grown together you can break them into smaller ones or cut them apart.  Cut the leaves back to 5 to 6 inches so the leaves don’t take energy from the plant trying to re-establish (which is opposed to not cutting them back after they have bloomed) and replant them 1/2 to 1 inch.  You’ll have plenty of extras so give them away to beautify your friends yards.

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We also did some clean up of bloomed out plants.  If there are varieties that you want to drop and spread seed then leave those.  Deadhead and cut back any straggly plants and any that are finished that you don’t want sticking up all dried out.

We all collected seed while we were doing this.  I have a bag of plant heads and I will harvest all the seed and mix it together and use it for a mixed seed planting.  I’ll go scatter it in a place where I would like some sun perennials.  If you want to collect seed make sure the seed heads are mature or the seeds won’t sprout.

We all took home some iris to plant.  I have plenty of places for those!!

Gardening is dangerous business.  Highlights that didn’t make the segment were Adam sticking the garden fork into his foot )and the ironic part of that being he was the only one there who had shoes appropriate for digging) and Kathy accidentally grabbing a pear cactus paddle.  You can imagine neither of these moments could be broadcast.

Now, get out there and get gardening!!

To view this week’s segment visit:  http://www.9news.com/story/life/home-garden/proctors-tips/2014/06/26/iris-summertime/11398529/



About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
This entry was posted in Gardening, Perennial Beds, Proctor's Apprentices, Rob Proctor, Summer gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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