Time to try out our new toy on the peony farm! Before all the rain as of late made our fieldwork impossible, the new rotary tiller made its debut. Wow what a difference 93″ makes versus our current 54″! Now with a 100hp tractor to turn this beast, our tilling time in new peony planting fields prep are greatly reduced.
Oh and Redd likes to ride along too. He definitely likes this rotary tiller better as he doesn’t get bounced around as much like he did with our small tiller and tractor. Maybe its the space he has to fall asleep on the floor whereby on our other tractor he didn’t have any area to sleep!
Bring on another round of cover crops as we get ready to replant peonies again this fall here! For those of you who picked up your bare-root peonies last fall, this was the field east of our driveway that had sunflowers and oats planted. This year we get serious with cover crops as we start to rebuild the soil. Yes we are planting sunflowers again as the birds and wildlife really liked an unlimited food source but one of the cover crops we are using is buckwheat. Not only is buckwheat good as a pollinator source, but it also helps the soil rejuvenate itself for planting our peonies. http://covercrops.cals.cornell.edu/buckwheat.php Cornell University is a great resource that we use to determine our cover crops as well as our local USDA agriculture office. There are a couple more cover crops that we are testing and will let you know how they do in a few years. This particular field was not amended when we planted our first peonies here in 2007. Because we were moving thousands of plants from our former field, we didn’t have the time to properly amend the soil like we do now. In 3-5 years, this field will be back to a sea of color like some of you may have seen during our peony field days.
What a difference even one year of cover crops makes to rejuvenate the soil in our future peony field!