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They bloomed—why this year?

By Geri Anderson

We moved into this house in September, 2008. The spacious yard had been mostly neglected for some time. There was a raised bed at the end of the patio with a collection of weeds and two clumps of Dutch iris (I believe that’s what they are). They were rather short, maybe 18”, and dry. We watered them, weeded the bed, and transplanted our strawberries into the bed that fall. Next growing season we watered pretty consistently, enjoyed the berries, and the iris grew taller, maybe 26” or 29”, but no blooms in the spring. Not one.

This year I really didn’t fret over them. But we had made a couple of changes to the bed.
1) Last years straw mulch had decomposed into the soil
2) We had given away some of our berry plants last fall
3) To fill in where we’d removed soil and plants, we added a top dressing in early May about an inch or two deep that was a fourth peat moss/ compost from our bed and probably a tenth composted manure
4) We re-mulched with several inches of fresh straw
5) We started soaking the berry bed earlier this year

Whatever helped—this year the iris bloomed—soft periwinkle blue blossoms among the tall leaves, now about 37” tall. They were beautiful!

Question: What change or changes brought on the blooms?


 

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