I have thinned out my iris and am about to replant them. I would like to keep the weeds under control from now on. Is it OK to put mulch down as long as I keep the bulbs uncovered?
Can I mulch my Iris bed?
I don't see why it wouldn't be !! Mulch will make it look neater,too Plus it will allow the ground to retain moisture so maybe they will actually flower for you next year.
Reply:This depends on the iris type. Species irises that have roots and look like a grass type plant, mulching would not cause problems. The German type irises which have the large rhizomes (large sausage like tubers) on them can be easily rotted and are best left unmulched where the tubers are. Woodchip etc are not good mulches for perennial type plants they do much better with something like hay. Weed mat is not being used now as it only allows water to penetrate properly where the hole is and sets the surrounding ground like concrete. Plants don't just have roots where the hole is and this results with a less than optimum plant.
Reply:Mulching any type of landscape bed is a great idea. Mulch helps to retain moisture during drier months, helps to reduce weeds, helps maintain soil temperature, and (if organic in nature) is a wonderful supplement for your soil's structure.
If your bulbs are currently budding above ground then refrain from placing mulch directly on top of them. Otherwise, you can cover them about 2" and be fine.
Any time you place mulch around existing trees, bushes, flowers, and plants be cautious. Keep about a half an inch to and inch of space between the base of the plant and the mulch. This will prevent the plant from "burning" or "smothering".
Make sure any mulch you use (if organic in nature... such as hardwood) has been thoroughly composted and aged. Newly chipped wood poses a danger of robbing plants and soil of nitrogen.
Using a pre-emergent such as the previous poster's suggestion of Preen is a great step to reduce the need to weed your beds. As mentioned, they also come with fertilizer to boost your soil as well.
Reply:Sure, I would use both landscape fabric, cut holes where you put bulbs in then cover with stone, bark chips, whatever you like.
Reply:Yes. The bulb (or rhizome, depending on your type of iris) must have sun in order for the plant to bloom. I carefully mulch around my iris (some of my iris plants are over 50 years old and belonged to my great-grandmother!), leaving part of the rhizome above ground in the sun. You've made a good choice--iris are hardy and beautiful!
Reply:You can mulch over everything, even newly planted bulbs. Mulch is good because it helps keep in moisture..Just dont mulch over emerged plants.
I put down (PREEN) before I put down my mulch. I use the fertilizer/weed control all in one, It seems to work well for me.