Re: [gardeners] Bad Day at Black Rock

Margaret Lauterbach (
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 07:33:17 -0600

>The other event was investigating the iris patch which I augmented with
>rhizomes from a private garden.  They were looking peaked (many things are
>this summer with our stressful weather) so I jigged a couple up out of the
>ground for a closer look and found very rotten rhizomes and a big fat ugly
>grub waving at me from his restaurant inside the rhizome.  I have never
>seen an iris borer in my life, but somehow or other I knew that's what it
>was.  I checked Organic Gardening's pest book, and sure enough that's what
>it is, accompanied by bacterial rot which is often associated with the
>The rhizomes are not so problematic as the soil.  Rhizomes I think I can
>treat (but suggestions very welcome).  What do I do about the soil?  If
>this grub is like most other grubs then one of them at least is still down
>there despite my careful pitch-forking and turning of the back of the bed.
>I found a good 1/2 dozen unattached to the rhizomes they apparently had
>I am very tempted to pick up the phone and call the exterminator tomorrow.
>I have a good lily bed not so very far away and would hate to see the
>borers head that way after I remove their food supply tomorrow.
>So that's my garden today.  
You might try solarization with plastic, if your weather is hot enough to
roast the beasties.  They're about to hatch and fly away, though, aren't
they?  The bacterial soft rot they bring sounds horrible.  I think I'd give
up growing iris if I had that problem.  Yukk.  You have my sincere
sympathy.  Margaret