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A couple of jobs for now


By AndrewR


Just a quick reminder of a couple of things you might not be aware of that should be done in the garden now.

Moving paeonies. Paeonies should be moved when dormant but as they start into growth very early in the year, this job should be done as soon as possible after the foliage dies off; this applies to both herbaceous and tree paeonies. Dig a large hole to receive the plant and incorporate lots of compost and feed as they are greedy plants. Dig out as large a rootball as possible when moving them. Herbaceous paeonies should not be planted too deeply – the resting buds should be at soil level, not buried. Tree paeonies can be planted a little deeper to encourage more stems. Contrary to popular belief, peonies will bloom in the season following a move as long as they are well fed and watered; failure to do so is more often because they have been planted too deeply (I moved nine herbaceous and three tree paeonies last winter and three quarters of them flowered this year).

Pruning vines. If vines are pruned when in growth, the sap bleeds badly (or even fatally) so it should be done now while they are dormant. In the south of the UK, I would reckon on getting it done before Christmas. This applies to both ornamental and productive vines. Acers suffer from the same problem and, while they should not require any cutting back, if it has to be done, do it now.

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What a timely reminder - something I'm planning to do. Thanks a lot.

6 Dec, 2008


I wish I had peonies to move - I haven't got any in this garden. I shall have to look around for at least one.

I have cut the vine back- it's a devil for growing into other shrubs and trees near it!

6 Dec, 2008


Thanks Andrewr.
My paeony was a gift from a neighbour across the road. This one was dug up and replanted in a hurry because she offered it to me when she was completely stripping her front garden.

I had little time available, so quickly planted it, in a shallow hole. Now I know why it flowers so well. :o)
Useful blog.
Well done.

6 Dec, 2008


~Hi Andrew
I have 5 tree paeonies in farily smallish pots~they all should be moved up into bigger pots which I have available.I moved one last year into John Innes 3 which was what was recommended but the stuff was like cement and the plant died.
I do not want a repeat of that so would love to have advice of what sort of mix to put them into?
Any advice will be gratefully received!
Thank you

6 Dec, 2008


Arlene - JI compost can be pretty solid. I would be inclined to mix it with an equal measure of garden compost and half the quantity of horticultural grit or sharp sand to open up the texture.
From an old book (1960), it recommends:
3 parts fibrous turf loam
1 part decayed manure
1 part coarse sand
1 part peat or leaf mould
What you are aiming for is a rich but open growing medium
Hope this helps

6 Dec, 2008


thanks Andrew!
that sounds more like it!

6 Dec, 2008


I am looking forward to taming my ornamental vine in the next few days. It has tried hard to get a strangle-hold on my Bramley(?) apple tree this summer, but then it's run out of wire supports on the garage wall so I suppose it has just been trying to draw my attention to its plight.
What is the best way of getting those lead eyelets into a brick wall well enough to hold the support wires in place?

6 Dec, 2008


Thanks Andrew, I have a couple of vines, I must get to them tomorrow.
Xela: Looks like you need to get the drill out, raw plugs and screws!

6 Dec, 2008


Thanks for the info on peonies. There's one in my mother's garden I'm going to bring up here so I'll be careful how I plant it.

7 Dec, 2008


I bought the lead fixings specially for the vine, Dawnsaunt, thinking they were appropriate and would be easier to use. I have tried knocking them straight into the wall and making indentations for them but they either bend out of shape or fall out. What am I doing wrong? Does anyone actually use them ?

7 Dec, 2008


Hi Xela, I'm no diy expert but I would think lead is too soft to penetrate brick. I've used masonary nails in the past but hammer them into the mortar rather than the brickwork.

7 Dec, 2008


Hi Xela those masonry nails with folding lead straps usually hammered into mortar joints rather than direct into brickwork as you have found they bend as cannot penetrate.Sorry Dawn submitting as your comment appeared.

As Andrew as stated as now a good time to prune do this first then insert wedge shaped vine eyes by hammering into mortar joints ( not brickwork).

Run about three rows in line horizontally then feed vine wire through each eye and tighten with pliers.Vine can then be retrained at various will not require nails etc in future as vine can be pruned in shape with wire supports.

If you really need to use brickwork then vine eyes can be purchased but these will require holes to drilled and rawlplugs to allow you to screw them in place.

Hope this makes sense and I ve explained ok .

7 Dec, 2008

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