Swenson Gardens

peony field jottings…


Ok so sometimes I get excited during the process of preparing and nurturing peonies! As you know our peony fertilizer production team is VERY important to us. Since we are a chemical free peony grower, what we put on and into the fields before planting our peonies are also very, very important. Knowing that our peony fertilizer production team only eats what we grow in the pastures and hay fields, how to best spread and amend that into our soil has been a struggle with our current, yes, manure spreader. Some of you may be thinking that I’ve lost it by getting excited about a manure spreader, but hold on. We want to make sure that the composted cow manure is spread evenly over the peony fields vs the clumps of manure that we were currently having with our old spreader. Case and point, we literally had to break up some of the clumps by hand with a pitchfork. Thankfully our old spreader broke down and the search was on to replace it. This used H&S 1506 came up on Craigslist so it was off to the sellers location to look at it. WOW! Twin hydraulic augers, TWO beater bars and flotation tires! I tried to contain my excitement on viewing this jewel so after a bit of negotiations, the 2-hour trip back to Howard Lake seemed like an eternity. Needless to say when I arrived back at the peony farm, family members looked at it and said ‘oh’. Now I’m talking ‘WOW’ here as this unit will break up all the clumps of composted cow manure and spread it evenly over the fields! What more could you ask for? Well the flotation tires help too as I probably won’t have to bring a chain along anymore in order to pull me out after getting stuck in the wet areas.

Seriously here folks, since we do not use chemicals and stimulants, the steps we take to make sure all facets of growing peonies are chemical free takes years of planning and preparation. Amending the peony soil with composted cow manure is one of the most important steps. This new spreader will save hours of manual labor to make sure it is amended evenly into the soil. Yes my grandma was right in amending her peonies with composted cow manure but now we are doing it on a scale that she would be proud of!

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