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May 10, 2008 at 3:57 pm #27801
The time is NOW to move hostas–or actually anytime (though preferably not mid-July and 100 degrees, when it hasn’t rained for weeks). Once they start pushing up above ground in late April, I start moving them. I just dug up some more clumps day before yesterday to divide and relocate.
Here’s the details people may not have gotten from the blog comment we exchanged recently on HOW to divide hostas:
"Hostas (like daylilies, Siberian irises, and a few other old-time favorites) are pretty indestructible, so don’t be afraid to have at it.
Depending on how big the clump is, I sometimes lift the whole thing, as I find it easier to gauge where to chop it up further when it’s above ground. If they are an enormous swath that cannot be lifted at once, you’ll have to chop into it with your spade and lift a chunk at a time (and by a chunk I mean as large a section as you can manage, like a foot or a foot and a half in each direction).
So once you have a big piece out of the ground, you just cut it up…and yes, here’s where some of the shoots will be mashed along the edges where you cut, but that’s unavoidable.
Observe how all the little plants are knitted together…you can perhaps even use your hands to break apart bits. Examine, and follow your instinct–using the least violent method at each phase to divide.
I like an old kitchen knife (a big one, like a serrated bread or chef’s knife) for this purpose, and always have one in my toolbag. Or you can simply use a spade (square and flat head is better than curved, cut either will work) and you just position the shovel blade on top of the clump and (eek!) step down firmly.
You can divide into pieces as small as you like, but I am too impatient to reduce it to tiny babies and wait for the clumps to regrow, so I stick to clumps perhaps 6 inches across.
Each goes back in the ground and really doesn’t miss a beat, as long as you keep them watered while they settle back in.
I make it sound like a big deal, but it’s not…and you will love setting the congested clumps free and watching the liberated plants take off."
For those who want to read more about hostas, the link that came from is:
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