Articles about Peony weeds
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

2014 Questions - Peony Soil Solarization & Weed Control

I received this question from Taherra in zone 7:
"I came across your blog in researching solarization as a method to create new planting beds. Your solarization project for your peony beds was in 2012 and I was curious as to the weed and grass control in that area. Any info/tips would be greatly appreciated."

For me this was an extremely successful project. The weed and grass control has been excellent. The only weeds that grow in this area are generally near the edges of the bed, where weed seeds have fallen from weeds growing outside the solarized bed. I have kept it weed free by mulching the soil with wood chips. I also curb any new weed growth by hand weeding the interior of the bed and spraying a weed killer around the exterior edge of the bed. The steps I took to create my solarized peony bed are outlined in the following posts:
1. 2012 Intersectional Peony Bed Preparation
2. 2012 Peony Bed Soil Solarization
3. 2012 New Dirt for New Peony Beds
4. 2012 Soil for New Peony Beds
5. 2012 Intersectional Peony Garden Planting

Soil Solariztion Tips:

1. The fewer sheets of plastic the better. Try to get your plastic sheet in one whole piece that will cover the area of your bed. This will keep the area hotter with less air escaping between the plastic sheeting.
2. The more weights the better. The bricks I used around the edge of the plastic sheeting not only keep the plastic sheet in place, but also trap the heat underneath. I actually added more bricks to the edges of my plastic sheet after a couple weeks to keep the hot air in.
3. Keep the sheet in place. Don't be tempted to remove the plastic sheeting early. Keep it in place the recommended 6 to 8 weeks to make sure the job is completely done. If you have extra time, then leave it on a little longer. It won't hurt and can only help!

Solarized Peony Bed Two Years Later

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 Peony Mulch with Paper Bag Weed Barrier

With a half day off from work yesterday, I was able to get in a little bit of work in my yard. It's always tough in the fall when the time changes. The days are already getting shorter and the hour you lose just makes it that much darker when you finally do get home. I've been needing to mulch around the new peonies in my Saunders peony bed where I added on to it this fall. There is quite a bit of open space around some of them, and a few fall weeds had already begun to sprout. A great chemical free way to prevent weeds is with a layer of mulch, but what to do when the weeds are already sprouting? A good way is to lay down a barrier underneath the mulch. I am definitely not in favor of the plastic weed barriers. They never biodegrade. The weeds grown through them eventually, anyway, and you are left with a really big mess! What I like to do, that I've done in the past, is lay down a layer of brown paper as a weed barrier underneath the mulch. It protects the bed from weeds for a few seasons, and by the time is it no good, it has already started to biodegrade - so no mess! Also you can just keep adding layers of paper and mulch if you like. Here's a step by step pictorial to get you started.

Materials Needed: Paper Bags, Scissors, and Mulch

Peony Bed Addition with Weeds Sprouting

Peony Bed with Paper Bag Weed Barrier

Peony Bed with Mulch Piled on Paper Weed Bag Barrier

Peony Bed with Fresh Mulch Over a Paper Bag Weed Barrier

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 Growing Weed Free Peonies

The weeds in my peonies have been greatly reduced this year, thanks to a new layer of mulch. However I have still gotten a few weeds. Most of them have either been at the edge of the peony bed or right next to the peony crown, where the layer of the mulch is the thinnest. It is not good to put a thick layer of mulch right on top of the peony crown (where the stems grow from the plant). In my climate I do not put any mulch right in the center of the peony plant. It is best to side dress the peonies with mulch to keep their small feeder roots cool and moist. A couple of weeds have surprised me this year, though, growing right from the crown hidden by the peony foliage, and were able to develop into quite large weeds. I was really surprised by this one in particular. This weed grew bigger and taller than my 5 year old peony in a couple months! Needless to say, it has now been extracted! :)

Peony 'Firelight' with Giant Weed

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 Peony Mulch

Wow! What could be better than freshly mulched peonies? What about FREE freshly mulched peonies? (Well I suppose it did require a bit of time and some elbow grease on my part, but I didn't pay any money for it!) I just happened upon a tree service truck that was about to dump some freshly mulched trees, and they were more than happy to dump their truck load of mulch in my back yard! Yay! Here are a couple of pictures of my freshly mulched peonies. The first one is of my Saunders Peony Garden. Many of the varieties in that garden are early, and as you can see they are finding their way out of the ground! Also Peony 'Coral Charm' in my Gold Medal Peony Garden is up tall and early as usual. The mulch should help to prevent weed growth and prevent the growing peonies from drying out too much this summer. They are all getting ready to burst open. I can hardly wait! :)

Saunders Peony Garden

Peony 'Coral Charm'

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Peony Weeds

Well, it has been quite a wet summer since our dry spell at the very beginning of the summer. I am looking forward to next year's blooms already. With all of this rain, I'm thinking the peonies should have plenty of fuel to create next year's buds and store lots of energy in their roots for next year's blooms. With the rain come lots of competition, weeds! I use hardwood mulch as a weed deterrent on most of my peonies. I have a couple of beds that are just dirt which I have to hoe to keep the weeds out. I also use weed spray around the edges of the mulched beds. Without this I don't think there would be any way I could keep up! Even in the mulched beds some weeds still sprout. So I end up pulling these by hand. I got up a lot of these weeds yesterday, but they're still out there.