Dig It! Time to Transplant Your Perennials

| 9/19/2018 9:29:00 AM

Early fall is the preferred time to transplant perennials, such as peonies.

As the growing season is coming to a close, most gardeners can exhale a sigh of relief. The majority of the work is done, and it’s time for a much needed break. Or is it? Now, and I mean now, is the perfect time to get into the garden and dig up, divide, and transplant your perennials.

I know that most of the focus of Mother Earth News is toward edible plants, which have rightly earned their priority in the garden. But let’s not forget the role flowering nonedibles play. Feeding bees and hummingbirds, adding value to your home, and simply beautifying the landscape, perennial flowers are a great addition to our home gardens. They’re easy to grow, once established, and can be dug up in the early fall, divided, and relocated to other parts of your property to give you more plants for free.

Perennials to Divide Now

Peonies: Spring flowering peonies are an old-fashioned favorite of mine. I love the bright pink, red, and even white peonies, and their fragrance it beyond compare. They can live a very, very long time (In fact, your peonies will probably outlive us all!). Peonies make wonderful cut flowers, and last a long time in a vase.

To divide, simply grab your shovel and dig all around the roots. You’ll want as much of the roots as you can, as they are quite hefty because they store a lot of water. Divisions will need to have a minimum of three eyes (little pinkish sprouts). Be sure to relocate your peonies in full sun for the best blooms. Also, peonies do not want to be buried deep in the soil. Just barely cover your roots and add a nice layer of mulch or straw for the winter. Once you see growth in the spring, remove most of the mulch and enjoy.

Daylilies: Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned ditch lily? The mid-summer burst of orange is a herald that summer is official here. Easy to grow, and edible, every homestead should have daylilies to grace the fence row or flower bed.

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