Newly discovered peonies, now what?

noinwiApril 3, 2013

DH and I moved into his folk's home back in November. Due to health problems they had to move closer to medical facilities. Their property hadn't been maintained for several years and I just discovered two clumps of peonies struggling to come up through the thick grass and blackberry canes. I cleaned up as much as I could, but the grass roots are still thick around the peony stems and the stems are about 12"-15" tall and spindly/tender looking.
I was reading that this is about the time to fertilize them, but working granular fert into the soil around them would likely damage them. Could I just give them a shot of liquid fert(MG type)now and work at loosening the soil later in the season? I've never grown peonies before. Any advice is appreciated.

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Having no idea as to your soil I can only relate my experiences. The weeds I pull from among the peony shoots trying to get their roots if possible. You should be able to locate the width of the peony root by probing with your fingers. Beyond that point I would scratch into your soil about 3 inches of finished compost. I have never found commercial fertilizer to be needed. You may need to support your bloom stems. To be safe you could do that now. Al

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Thanks Al. I pulled as much of the grass roots as I could...they're pretty thick. This property is a wetland with lots of clay but the peonies are in a couple of small raised beds(well, one clump is in just a mound of soil) that were probably filled with bagged potting soil. I'll just have to wait and see if they do in fact bloom as I have no idea how(deep)they were planted, or how long they've been there. Good that I don't need to worry about ferts. If they don't bloom, I'll dig them up and replant in the fall. I should be able to find supports of some type around here...we're cleaning up a lot of yard junk. I'll try to post a photo later. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 3:21PM
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