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Weed Control for Irises


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Hand weeding is the most sustainable way to keep irises and other garden plants healthy. Getting rid of weeds in the spring, when they are tiny, is easier and quicker than waiting until later in the season when they have grown bigger. Plant iris rhizomes so that their tops are exposed. Keeping iris beds free of weeds and other plant growth allows the exposed iris rhizomes to bask in the sun, keeping them healthy.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Hand cultivator
  • Hand trowel
    1. Remove weeds from the garden before planting iris rhizomes.
    2. Avoid using mulch, ground covers or weed barriers. Iris rhizomes need to be exposed to the sun to keep them healthy and prevent them from rotting.
    3. Use a hand cultivator to cut off the shoots of young emerging weeds. Use a hand trowel to dig up bigger weeds. Try to get the whole weed since a new weed will sprout from even a tiny bit of left-behind root.
    4. Weed in the spring before plants go to seed to discourage new ones from sprouting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not put plants that have gone to seed on the compost heap. Cut off the seed heads and throw them away. This ensures that you won’t introduce unwanted seeds into your compost that will inevitably sprout in the garden.

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