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Once the fall season arrives, it’s easy to begin neglecting the yard work. I am always more excited about baking, spending time indoors, and basking in fall festivities. With all of these activities going on, I tend to forget about any help the yard could need. Honestly, the changing of the seasons brings a nice break.
Fall is the time when many preparations can be made for the spring: planting bulbs, trimming back foliage, and transplanting certain flowers. Some varieties of flowers need maintenance every few years to encourage proper growth. An iris is one such flower. Irises are loved for their numerous colors, large blooms, and fragrant smells. The flowers have been grown in American gardens for years, many times passed down through generations of families. After years of growth, the tuberous roots become large and start pushing above the ground. This is when they need to be dug up, broken apart, and separated into smaller plants and replanted.
Once you replant, you’ll be left with extra plants. And once summer rolls around, your flower beds will be full of beautiful blooms, like these from The Farm this past summer.
This year, I was the excited recipient of a large number of iris varieties from a relative who saved them from my great grandma’s farm. And honestly, I love the idea of growing plants that my great grandma planted. Plants can live on for years through different individuals each adding there own part of a story. I had to think of the perfect place for these special flowers and had a flower bed that has never been finished. You may not have been blessed with family irises, but you can easily separate the ones you have and add to your flower beds. Irises do best when transplanted and will bloom better because of it!
I first prepared the bed by measuring the depth I wanted it to be. Many times, instead of keeping a tape measure with me, I use the handle of my shovel as a depth guide. Not a fancy method, but definitely convenient! I edge my beds with a half moon edger that digs a four-inch ditch to keep grass and weeds from growing into the flower bed.
I removed any grass that had grown into the bed area and kept it to plant in sparse spots throughout my yard. It is important to conserve good grass since seed grass takes a long time and more work to establish than sod!
Next, I laid out my plants so I knew how to space the clumps. You do not need to over-plant irises – just a few good tuberous roots per clump. The relative who gave me these labeled each plant so thoughtfully.
To preserve the memory and color of these flowers, I too used plant makers. Come next fall, I’ll be thankful I carefully marked each variety so that transplanting and separating will be a breeze!
I am so pleased with my new flowerbed and am excited to start my own story with these family iris starts. Hopefully, before it gets too cold, you will be able to work in your flower beds and prepare them for spring so the blooms are all the more beautiful and sweet![hr]
Images by The Gray Boxwood[divider]
Hey Kaleb –
Be sure to save room for starts of some of great grandma’s daylilies in the spring!
I have old irises that I want to separate and transplant. How can I do this and what season should I do it? I live in Delaware