Late July is the perfect time to separate bearded irises.
Especially when the clump is growing so tightly that the rhizomes are clambering up on top of one another.
Oh, and also when an iris borer is seen wriggling out of a slimed rhizome. The sight of that fat little pink grub yesterday afternoon had me in the garden by 9:00 this morning, lifting clumps, rinsing off the dirt, soaking the rhizomes in a 1:9 bleach:water solution,
trimming off old roots, drying the cleaned plants,
Oh yes, and how many more iris borers had I found when I threw in the trowel six hours later? Exactly zero.