Daylilies forum: Is it possible to get any dirtier than when you divide Daylilies?

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Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Aug 5, 2016 12:32 AM CST
I came home and moved some of the daylilies tonight. They are over do. I forgot how absolutely muddy and sweaty this job is. I even had dirt in my nostrils. It sure feels good to get started on them tho.
I am really a novice when it comes to daylilies. Any tips on making dividing easier would be really really nice to hear. I have probably 2 or 3 weekends of this to do still,
Blinking I better stock up on soap. Blinking
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Aug 5, 2016 1:32 AM CST
Trim. Dig. Dump the clump into a tub of water. Swish and let the roots soak for a bit. Take it out, and blast it with the hose to rinse the rest of the dirt off (transferring the dirt to yourself and everything else within 10 feet of you in the process). Use two large screwdrivers, carefully placed, and wrestle with (er, divide) the clump. Swear with each fan that you snap off at the crown. Once everything is divided down, rinse it off again and leave it all somewhere to dry, while you stagger inside to wipe the sweat and dirt off, get a cold drink, and just generally collapse.

I'm digging and dividing irises right now. It's not as dirty and messy and just plain hard as digging and dividing daylilies, but I can't say that I'm enjoying that either. As for the daylilies... I have some YUGE clumps which need dividing... but that is a chore that I prefer not to think about doing. Whistling Certainly not in this weather, anyway.

(I thought that spring or fall were the times to dig and divide? I recently, stoopidly tried potting up a seedling I wanted to save, and promptly killed it via rot. I should have just left it alone until October.)
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Aug 7, 2016 6:46 AM CST
I always get pretty dirty too. Polymerous has described the process pretty good, and I don't know of a way NOT to get so dirty. Spraying off the roots with the hose is the worst part for me.

I dig dls any time between May and September. Just depends on the weather.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Aug 7, 2016 12:03 PM CST
Well, mine are right up against my side drive way, all blooms were spent, and the usually lovely foliage, is very tattered and sad looking. I just took out some small clumps that volunteered and left getting to my heatpump just a fantasy.

Polymerous, Rolling on the floor laughing I so enjoyed your advice and description. It was just hilarious, you should write a humorous gardening book, or start a blog! And I will take a good laugh over all else in this life, but everything you advised I actually really needed to know, except the swearing, I have that part down.

To divide clumps, I used a long old serrated kitchen knife, and sawed right through them. I imagine the screwdriver tip would be a little less violent. oops.

The pitch fork and I are both in danger of physical harm from bearing down on those bulbish roots with a good kick of the fork, hoping to slide thru some dirt, but finding a Pacific Northwest rock the size of a soft ball instead. It really rings my bell. .

Vickie, You must have lots of daylilies. I am amazed you can move them in May, but of course, you can. They are about the toughest plant I have ever had. Good to know!

Glad to have heard from you both!




Name: Skipper
Hamilton, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Dog Lover Composter Region: Ohio Spiders!
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cottelpg
Aug 7, 2016 12:39 PM CST
Great thread. I enjoyed reading all the posts. I like to divide in August and in fact have started the process. @Char has written truly excellent article on dividing daylilies, which you can find on this site. There is also a good article published by the National Arboretum. http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/DaylilyDivided.html

I have tried the "two fork" method mentioned there with success. This year I will try Char's method.

I was surprised to find others get hot, sweaty, and dirty dividing daylilies. That has never happened to me Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Region: Vermont
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Char
Aug 7, 2016 5:41 PM CST

Moderator

I always get covered with sweat and dirt when dividing too. Usually I'm soaked as well from spraying which can be a mighty chilly deal when dividing in the early spring with cold well water. In a week or two when I start the fall dividing I'll put on a pair of old cut off sweat pants, raggy tank top and go at it. The cold water actually feels good and I can hose myself off after. Smiling
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
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Polymerous
Aug 7, 2016 10:32 PM CST
One of the hardest parts of dividing is when the daylily is planted somewhere where it is hard to get it dug. I have several that are in permanent raised wooden-sided beds (roughly 2 ft high); I actually originally used some of those beds for seedlings. It was absolute murder when it came time to dig those seedlings out, especially the ones right up against the sides; you just can't get the shovel or pitchfork in there. (I was very hesitant too, to climb up into those beds; I kept worrying about a fall. So instead I had to tackle the job while standing outside the raised bed.)

Never again will I mass plant seedlings in those particular raised beds (I do have a few left in those beds, but not up against the sides). Having learned my lesson, we have worked out a different raised bed scheme for seedlings; the beds are shorter (8" or so tops above grade level, with the seedling roots having room and loose soil to go below grade level) and the wooden sides are not permanent - they are a frame that can be lifted up and out of the way, for easy access to the seedlings around the perimeter of the bed.

BUT... I still have some number of registered cultivars in those original raised beds, and several of them, like 'Osterized', are probably way overdue to be dug and divided. I keep putting the job off, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to tackle at least some of them this fall. Thumbs down
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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springcolor
Aug 7, 2016 11:22 PM CST
I bought Don's daylily divider and just love it. Makes chucking up daylilies so easy but you still have to wash them.
http://www.vendio.com/stores/votdlilies/item/garden-tools/pe...
Sempervivum for Sale
[Last edited by springcolor - Aug 7, 2016 11:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Aug 9, 2016 12:21 AM CST
Oh, guys thanks so much for sharing. I am so glad it's not just me. Could some of you send photos, so my husband can see this is normal for Lily Lovers. Truly when he saw me coming in the house that night, he seemed startled. It probably was scary.

Skipper, @cottlepg I am going to read both suggestions, Thank you. The thought of me handling two forks just sounds so dangerous. @Char, I look forward to your article, I love the post. Thank god for those who will take the time to share their expertise @Polymer, the hose story got me. My house is on a road popular in my small town for walkers. (don't these people have yards to tend) I swear everytime I grab the hose to get some mud off my face, someone (I went to school with) walks on up and says, Oh, you're gardening". Sticking tongue out No, Sherlock, I am painting my nails. I worry about falling too. I am too old to be falling. @springcolor, Julia, Don's daylily divider sounds like a dream come true. I will be looking at this before I enter that bed again.

Thank you for the stories all. Thank You!
[Last edited by lauriebasler - Aug 9, 2016 12:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 9, 2016 1:50 PM CST
I've appreciated all the articles I can find! How can I find Poly's and Char's article?
[Last edited by Barbalee - Aug 9, 2016 1:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Skipper
Hamilton, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Dog Lover Composter Region: Ohio Spiders!
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cottelpg
Aug 9, 2016 3:02 PM CST
For Char's article type Dividing Daylilies in search. It is the second article down.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 9, 2016 3:56 PM CST
Gotcha, Skipper. I'm heading there now Thank You!
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 9, 2016 3:59 PM CST
hmmmm... I tried the search in the daylilies forum and in the main forum. Got nothing worthy! Blinking Confused Crying
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Aug 9, 2016 4:00 PM CST
http://garden.org/ideas/view/Char/1544/Dividing-Daylilies-Ov...
This one?
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 9, 2016 4:04 PM CST
That's it! Thank You! Julia! I'm going reading!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 9, 2016 4:11 PM CST
Ok, if you want to laugh yourself silly, here's Martha Stewart dividing daylilies. She actually got a spot of dirt on the knee of her pants . . . Blinking D'Oh!

http://www.marthastewart.com/916531/how-divide-daylilies-and...
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 9, 2016 4:24 PM CST
Loved it, including the always on right knee spot! That she stayed clean 'n neat wouldn't be my game, though...couldn't happen! I also know she didn't dig out that clump by her neat little wee bitty self! Rolling on the floor laughing Hilarious! Thanks, Elaine~ Thank You!
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Aug 9, 2016 9:07 PM CST
I disbelieve her soil.... that whole bed of hers must have originally been dug out and filled in with planting mix and compost or something like that, to be so luxurious and easy to dig in. I'd like to see her dig up some of my clumps, and then oh-so-casually dig holes and spread them around the garden. Rolling on the floor laughing
The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Aug 9, 2016 11:27 PM CST
Springcolor, thank you for the link. Oh you all are a riot. Going reading. Have a great Wednesday.

Name: Skipper
Hamilton, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Dog Lover Composter Region: Ohio Spiders!
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cottelpg
Aug 9, 2016 11:58 PM CST
[quote="dyzzypyxxy"]Ok, if you want to laugh yourself silly, here's Martha Stewart dividing daylilies.]

Still laughing. What a hoot. Rolling on the floor laughing

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