Swenson Gardens

Peony field jottings….Part 1


What happened to our Peony Field Days parking lot? Little did you know that this parking lot was actually getting ready to grow an amass of new peonies. This area was planned three years ago for propagation. Our process for propagation fields begins with alfalfa (of course which is then used to feed our cattle) which in turn provide the manure to put back in the propagation fields. Funny how that works but we are SO blessed to be able to do this in a large scale. We’re not talking fresh manure either! The manure is composted over one winter to kill any weed seeds. NEVER put fresh, stinky manure in your gardens or landscape! The beauty of properly prepared composted cow manure is the fact that it doesn’t stink! Multiple applications of composted cow manure were added to this field before we plowed it under last year. A couple other ‘organic high brix’ secrets are also amended into this field. In our test fields we were amazed at the growth in 2 and 3 years. This same mixture is contained in our peony starter fertilizer on a smaller scale. But for those of you who have purchased this from us, you can now say you are growing ‘organic high brix’ peonies! Of course that is only true if you do not use any chemicals after the fact and your planting site was fallow for 5-years after the last chemical application. Friends, you do not need CHEMICALS to grow and maintain peonies! At the scale we are propagating peonies, if we can do it on thousands of peonies, please, please consider this in your gardens and landscapes! Ok I’ll get off my soapbox…

Back to our new peony field, the final field prep in the picture above is to fluff up the soil before planting by roto tilling. This allows the soil to settle in nicely around the new roots. Once the final tilling is done, we are set to make the furrows and plant. See next peony field jottings post.

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