When to mulch newly transplanted peonies

fampoula(5)October 20, 2013

I am in Zone 5, Chicago area. I transplanted some peonies two weeks ago and a couple more last weekend. The news says we are supposed to get our first frost this week. I read somewhere not to mulch too soon--to wait until the first time the ground freezes.

Two questions: 1) is the first frost the same as the first time the ground freezes? 2) with the brand new (one week old) transplants, should I go ahead and mulch before the frost? They really haven't had any time to grow roots yet. I was planning to mulch with straw.

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lizbest1(5)

I'm in zone 5 (Colorado) and mulch when I plant in the fall regardless of when the first heavy frost is expected. I think it's probably more important to get the mulch moved away when you start seeing growth in the spring, you should be able to put your straw down whenever you have the time.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 10:04PM
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Joopster(5 (Chicago))

Fampoula, I"m also in Chicago and didn't know that frost was coming last week and didn't get a chance to put my peonies in the ground. I still have like 3-4 of them sitting in the 3 gal pots above ground. These are not bareroots, they are plants. I getting to it tomorrow. I just hope that it's not too late. Crossing my fingers.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 4:13PM
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lizbest1(5)

I read on at least a couple of the grower's websites that they routinely plant well into Nov/Dec in zones 4 and 5, I think both of you will be fine. Even in pots they should be good without cover down into the high twenties/low thirties.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 9:50PM
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