The Garden Journal
Spring is Here - Planting Dahlias! Spring Plant Sale details
May 1, 2022
The ideal time to plant peonies is in the fall. Dormant roots won’t go into shock if heat waves hit, like they can in the spring, and have the wetter months of fall and winter to settle in and put down roots.
If you buy peonies in pots at the nursery, particularly with blooms, your best course of action is to keep in the pot over the summer (don’t forget to water!) and transplant the plant in the fall.
Peonies should be planted in full sun (minimum 6 hours per day) and the eyes should be no more than 1-2” below your soil line.
We can’t wait for warmer weather to come, and stay, around here! Watching the weather apps, and trying to predict what will happen next has been a daily guessing game for when we can plan to move temperature sensitive plants out of the greenhouse safely. If you came to our Easter/Spring Plant Sale (thank you!) you know that we were pulling tomatoes out of the greenhouse for those of you daring enough to take them on yourself with this erratic spring weather.
Speaking of predictions, the popular, and likely most asked question we get is “When will the peonies bloom?” followed by “When is the Peony Sip & Stroll?”. I’d love to be able to pull out a crystal ball and tell you specific dates of when each variety will grace us with their annual show, but it unfortunately is a tricky thing to guess, and accurately predict. More importantly, I cannot with any great certainty tell you when we will have the most varieties blooming at once.
If you’re new to peonies, a typical season can last between 5-6 weeks from start to finish of the last varietals opening up. It starts with Early season blooms, like the Corals, and Red Charm, to name a few. Silver Dawn is usually our first to the party, and usually the quickest to fade, whereas our corals and Red Charm put on a longer, and glorious show. Gotta love those fully double blooms that just show off. Overlapping the Early types, are the Mid-Season, with some variability depending on type, followed by the Late Season blooms. Planting one or some of each type in your garden guarantees a longer showing.
However, we’ve had some pretty atypical weather patterns over the last several years, and peonies have been blooming later than usual, and 1 year our field flushed out and was done in 2 weeks from start to end. This is not normal, and adds to the complexity of knowing bloom times. The question actually fills me with anxiety, as I think speaking aloud when I think peonies will open holds me to a standard I’m expected to hold up. An impossible task as a grower. There are only so many things I can do to guarantee peony blooms, but controlling the weather and seasonal temperatures is not one of them.
Tulips get planted out in the garden in fall, to have the necessary chill-time, or hours below a certain temperature to break dormancy. Unless you buy pre-chilled bulbs, you need to plant bulbs in October - November to ensure your tulips will grow and bloom.
We are planning out our fall bulb orders, and hope to have The Garden Shop stocked with our favorites to add to your garden. These will be available when it’s the right time to plant, again, in the fall. This is typically October time frame. We are hoping to add mixed bulb planters to our offerings, so let us know if this is something you’d be interested in for your gardens.
The Garden Shop
NO MOW MAY
No Mow May is a conservation initiative first popularized by Plantlife, an organization based in the United Kingdom, but which is gaining traction across North America. The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow un-mown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators.
The Garden Shop
The Garden Shop will be open for Mother’s Day shoppers, on Saturday, May 7th, from 10am-4pm.
Our selection of plants, florals, gifts and curated items will be available. Or get Mom one of our gift cards so she can choose her own gift.
This will be the last opportunity to purchase dahlia tubers in person directly from the shop. Our online shop of dahlia tubers will be closed after May 8, until 2023. Thank you for your support!
We will allow visitors into the Gardens on May 7th, during our open hours only. Tickets are required and can be purchased in the Garden Shop. Plan to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your meal al fresco in our new Courtyard, or by the Fountain. Please keep in mind that balloons and plastic straws are not allowed, for the safety of our farm animals.
- Direct Sow Summer Annuals - when soil is warm.
- Start Transplanting Tender Annuals - when soil is warm.
- Plant Dahlia Tubers - after last frost. May 1st is our final planting date goal. Make sure soil is free-draining to prevent rot or loss of tubers.
- Start feeding roses, trees, shrubs, etc.
- Weed around Peonies and other Perennials.
- Disbud any side buds of peonies (for bigger main blooms)
- Feed Peony plants with Triple Super Phosphate
- Supplement lawns and bedding plants with Azomite
- Pre-Order Tulips & other Fall Bulbs.
- Stay on top of weeds.
- Take stock of pruners, buckets, tools needed for summer harvest, pruning and clean-up tasks.
Stay Tuned for Upcoming Events
- BOLD ITEMS are ON-SITE Events
- Dahlia Sale Online - through May 8
- Garden Shop Open: Saturday, May 7 10am-4pm
- Gardens Open Saturday, May 7 - Ticket Required
- Plant Dahlias! Target planting date is May 1st
- Static Line Sourdough Break Pop-Up - May 14
- Peony Sip & Stroll - Dates TBD
- Gardens Open: Dates TBD
- Farm to Table Dinner - AUGUST 20
- Classes & Workshops will be announced via the website, with sign-ups there, along with Garden Shop hours.