I’ve been collecting peonies in my small front yard for the last five years. Though I didn’t have the space, I would occasionally happen upon a bargain that I simply couldn’t pass. When moving finally became an option, I knew that I wanted to bring my peony plants with me. This meant waiting until the fall to dig up all the plants.
Digging up the plants was much more work that I had anticipated. I had consistently cut and broke various roots, but most were large enough to handle my mistreatment. I also purchased a small amount of new tubers from a wholesaler.
The first thing I did to prepare the new bed was to work the soil and then cover it with a good quality landscape fabric. I ended up making each of my rows a little over 20 ft. in length. I know this is a lot shorter than what several “real” farmers use, but I fear that that kind of large-scale production just isn’t realistic for me.
I spaced each of my roots about 18-20 inches apart. I’ve always been the kind of person to plant intensively, so really, the laying of a new peony bed was no exception. In some rows, I even had to lay the fabric directly on the grass, and then dig with a shovel. The new house doesn’t have any electricity, and I only own a small electric tiller. Obviously, I’m going to need to make some new investments so that I can till the yard easily.
After each of the peonies had been planted, it wasn’t long until the soil had started to warm. Before the grass started growing again, I used more landscape fabric to line all of the rows, in hopes of keeping the weeds down throughout summer. I don’t have the best record in terms of keeping things weed-free, so perhaps being proactive is a good approach.
That’s it, my very first peony patch. I ended up planting just over 100 roots. I’ll likely begin to mulch the holes as the planted continue to grow. This will be especially important through the first couple seasons as they as becoming more established. I’d love to hear all about your experiences growing peonies down in the comments below. Thanks so much for visiting the blog!