Peony Research

Research Projects: Researchers from Miami University (Ohio) and Mount St. Joseph University run experimental trials on peony varieties in Interior Alaska in an effort to determine best practices for growing peonies in an arctic environment.

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  1. Nutrient/Fertilizer Trial:  Twenty-one varieties of peony are currently being monitored in the nutrient/fertilizer plot.  This is a long term study which will examine the growth and development of peonies under eight (8) different nutrient and fertilizer  treatments.  Fourteen varieties were planted in 2013 and seven more varieties were added in 2014.  All trials are run in triplicate and all rows are treated with herbicide and fungicide.  All peony roots were planted with a mixture of one shovel of peat and one of the following nutrient treatments: A) Russell Mix (RM) (8-32-16, Dolomite, Ag Lime, Mycorrhizal Fungi, Fish Meal, 0-45-0, and Boron); B) Standard Mix (8-32-16, Dolomite and Ag Lime); C) RM without Mycorrhizal Fungi; D) RM without Fish Meal; E) RM without 0-45-0; RM without Boron; RM with Foliar nutrients; and, RM with compost tea. Length of longest stem on each plant is measured every 2.5 days (average) from May (when plants begin to show) until July (when stems are harvested).  At harvest, the number of stems with buds is counted, the diameter of the longest stem is measured, the diameter of the largest bud is measured and the average bud size for the plant is determined.
  2.  Herbicide Trials:  Herbicide trials conducted in 2014 included testing the effectiveness of Pendulum AquaCap and Outrider on newly planted peonies and on peonies that had been planted last year.
  3. Fungicide Trials:  Fungicide trials conducted in 2014 included testing the effectiveness of Pageant on newly planted peonies and on peonies that had been planted last year.

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