Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DO NOT Trim Iris Leaves with Lawn Mower

This post is not like my usual How to care, plant or maintain your yard and gardens, instead it has to do with what NOT to do.

Know that yesterday my husband offered to help me cut the leaves of the irises, because I am having a problem with garden pests and needed to treat the irises with concentrated spearmint.   I thought that the leaves were  cut on irises then it the pest repellent would have a better chance at getting to the rhizome and then get rid of the borers. 

I sterilized two sets of garden scissors and showed my husband the proper way to cut the leaves.  I generally cut them to three inches and the  leaves look like a fan.  Husband said he understood. So I got started with the garden in the front, 300 irises and husband started in the back; 287 irises.

About ten minutes into the project husband told me that cutting the leaves was ridiculous and that he decided to cut the grass. So I thanked him for what he did and went about my garden business.

I heard the lawn mower and was happy the grass was being cut.  A few minutes later my husband approaches me and says “ I cut them too short” I was not sure what he was referring to and asked “what did you cut too short” He replied “the irises” 

Bearded irises growing both sides of garden path
Know that if the rhizome is cut then they are damaged and yes this is too short, I had showed him and thought he understood how to cut the irises leaves.  Apparently not because I followed my husband to the backyard where the Batik irises are planted on both sides of the garden path and yes he did cut them too short and I suspect I lost a couple hundred irises flowers because my husband ran them over with the mulching lawn mower.

Using the lawn mower or grass trimmer is the wrong way to cut irises and if you do this you put them at risk for borers and damage that cannot be repaired. I suspect that they will all die.

Know that my husband can be a great help to me in the garden, and I have no idea why he thought using the lawn more on the irises was a good idea. He watched me cut the leaves so that they looked like fans  with a sterilized garden scissor. I am shaking my head in disbelief. He said he was sorry, but does not really understand the damage that his actions have created.

Learn proper care for irises here

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