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Not sure when the latest safe day to plant irises in zone 4, but I remember last year I had some that came late and I planted them in the ground (raised bed) and when it got cold I added wood packing curly cues (forgot whatch'call'em) around the fans and then put an opague plastic container over them to keep out excess moisture. I just did it to a few, but they all survied and grew nicely. Oh yeah, excelsior! They often use it fror packing plants. Much better than plastic peanuts.