REMOVING BLOOM STALKS—I snap off my bloom stalks for several reasons—neatness for one thing, as an iris patch with old, spent bloom stalks sticking up is anything but attractive. For another, it keeps the strength of the plant from being wasted in setting unwanted seed pods. But chiefly it's to prevent the rot that begins in old stems and works down into the rhizome. I snap the stalk off right at the ground if I can and use a sharp paring knife to trim off any rough edges left by the break. Then I make it a point to see that the smoothly cut surface is free of soil and exposed to the air—sun if possible—until it has dried off.—Mrs. W. C. Fox, Nampa, Idaho. AIS Bulletin 116(January 1950):54.