Q: I am about to move to Monroe but I have a lot of peonies that my grandmother and mother gave me many years ago. What do I do to create the best new environment for the peonies?
A: Because they will occupy a bed for many years, it makes sense to do your best to prepare the soil properly. Dig your new bed twelve inches deep, removing and discarding the lowest three inches of soil. Mix with the remaining soil a three inch layer of ground pine bark and a one inch layer of gritty underlayment sand. Add a pint of lime and one-fourth cup of 0-46-0 for every ten square feet of bed. Dig the peonies carefully, protecting the roots, and replant as quickly as possible. Blooms will last longest if the bed gets at least six hours of sunshine in the morning but dappled shade in the afternoon.
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