Daylilies forum: Daylily Divider

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Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Jan 10, 2020 1:16 PM CST
I just bought this daylily divider from Valley of the Daylilies. In person, it has a nice, handmade (which it is) quality.

I am really hoping that this thing will help me get the "legacy" (older) gardens cleaned up, so that I can load them with seedlings. There is a video on the site, showing how it is used.

Has anyone used one of these? It looks like it could do the job.

Thumb of 2020-01-10/SueVT/505269
Thumb of 2020-01-10/SueVT/d7efa6

Suevt on the LA
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 10, 2020 2:14 PM CST
Thanks for starting this thread! I am interested in getting this tool too.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jan 10, 2020 2:44 PM CST
Me Three!
Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Jan 10, 2020 3:57 PM CST
I looked at the VOTD site because someone posted it the other day.... and saw the daylily divider.

Watched the video, it appears to be made locally by an acquaintance of the VOTD owner. You can buy it directly from the person who makes it, but I thought it would be more correct to buy it from the VOTD store. Smiling

It is all steel I think, and the business end is about 3" long. Works like reverse scissors to split the clump.
One thing I wondered about is, that in the video they first dig up the clump. I would rather dig down on one side of the clump and split off a piece on that side. Wonder if that would work.
Suevt on the LA
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Jan 10, 2020 4:07 PM CST
I saw one video and not sure it was of this particular divider, but they all work in the same way...by spreading the clump into separate pieces and it was said in the video I saw that because leaving the clump in the hole would not allow the pieces to spread apart the clump had to first be dug.
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jan 10, 2020 5:44 PM CST
I have the daylily divider. I purchased it from the guy that makes them (not from a store).

I LOVE mine. Works SO great on large difficult clumps. The only way to go.
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Jan 10, 2020 6:07 PM CST
I've gone back and forth on this type of tool a long time.

I'm really surprised the tines are only 3 inches. Is that how big yours is, Sue? That seems a little small for something like Panic in Detroit. I think if I took a 3" tool to my Conspiracy Theory, when it stopped laughing, it would pull the tool out of my hands and throw it in my neighbor's yard.

Larry's point is definitely a concern. I do have a theory in my mind that if I had one, I would work around the clump or part of a clump with a spade fork and use the tool to push pieces out away from the center of the clump. I was thinking once you got it started, there would always be a place for the divider to push a division. Is that how you use yours, Sue, or do you dig the clump out first?
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jan 10, 2020 6:24 PM CST
I dig the clump out first. Wash off as much dirt as I can with the hose. At times that is enough to tease the fans apart and I don't use the daylily divider.

When the clumps are too big and tightly grown together, after washing with the hose, I put the whole clump into a tub of water and let it sit for at least several hours, sometimes even overnight. After that I tease as many fans out as possible from the outer edges. But usually the center (or majority of the clump is too tight) THAT'S when I have to use the DD. These are usually clumps that should have been divided several years ago. I break the clump into several smaller clumps (using the DD) and swoosh it around in the tub of water until I can get the roots untangled.

Of course using the DD will cause a bunch of broken roots and even fans. But when the only other alternative is to cut the clump with a knife or shovel...that's when this tool is great. At least for me. If I recall I paid about 60 something for it. I don't regret the purchase.

Any over grown (neglected) clump is difficult. I'll put a lot of work into a clump but if I'm already breaking fans off, then it's time for the DD. IMHO
[Last edited by petruske - Jan 10, 2020 6:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Jan 10, 2020 8:33 PM CST
Thanks, Sue. It still probably saves you a rediculous amount of time on those bigger clumps. For me, I'm new enough to this I don't have that many clumps that size. It probably won't help me that much for a few years, but that may not stop me from buying one.
Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Jan 10, 2020 8:36 PM CST
Tim, that is how I want to use it too. Pushing outward from the center (laws of physics should cause this, because in my clay, rocky soil, it should be essentially locked in place, toward the outside where I would have dug away quite a bit of earth....

I think the idea is that the tool gets in there and cracks away a piece of the crown. Then you pull it away and the roots come with it. In the movie, they have dug the clump and knocked soil off it before doing this, which helps of course. I purchased another tool last summer that I think will help with the "in-ground" splitting, once the crown is cut - the Spear Head Spade:
Thumb of 2020-01-11/SueVT/dc1d7b

Suevt on the LA
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 10, 2020 8:50 PM CST
Thanks Sue for that honest review! I have a number of clumps where this tool will come in very handy. Do you get the long one or the short one? Which do you recommend?
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower
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Lyshack
Jan 10, 2020 9:23 PM CST
Crown damage. Rhizome damage. That's why I'm leery of using it that way, SueVT. It seems like a gamble to use it without digging out the clump so you can see the roots when you are dividing. I guess it depends on the situation and the user's priorities. If you are splitting a 20 fan clump of Clown Pants to sell them off and buy a small island off the coast of Vanuatu, you probably don't want to take chances. But if it's finally time to clean up a 100+ fan clump of Ice Carnival that hasn't been touched since 1978, maybe you put a different value on damage vs. time. Shrug!
Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Jan 10, 2020 10:36 PM CST
Lyshack said: If you are splitting a 20 fan clump of Clown Pants to sell them off and buy a small island off the coast of Vanuatu,


This is the best idea I've heard so far this year, Tim! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Suevt on the LA
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jan 11, 2020 12:58 AM CST
kousa said:Thanks Sue for that honest review! I have a number of clumps where this tool will come in very handy. Do you get the long one or the short one? Which do you recommend?


I got the short one. I'm 5' 4" tall so the short one works for me.
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jan 11, 2020 1:07 AM CST
Lyshack said:Crown damage. Rhizome damage. That's why I'm leery of using it that way, SueVT. It seems like a gamble to use it without digging out the clump so you can see the roots when you are dividing. I guess it depends on the situation and the user's priorities. If you are splitting a 20 fan clump of Clown Pants to sell them off and buy a small island off the coast of Vanuatu, you probably don't want to take chances. But if it's finally time to clean up a 100+ fan clump of Ice Carnival that hasn't been touched since 1978, maybe you put a different value on damage vs. time. Shrug!


I agree. Most that I've used it on were clumps that I got up to 40 fans out of. And that's not counting all the ones that were damaged and tossed away.

The KEY to the whole deal is...DON'T wait so long to divide!!! D'Oh! D'Oh! D'Oh! I still have at least 12 clumps that should have been divided 9 years ago. Sad

BTW...thanks Tim and Karen for the acorns. Smiling Smiling
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jan 11, 2020 4:20 PM CST
Lyshack said:I've gone back and forth on this type of tool a long time.

I'm really surprised the tines are only 3 inches. Is that how big yours is, Sue?


I just realized I never answered your question. Yes the tines are only 3 inches long.
[Last edited by petruske - Jan 11, 2020 4:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Vermont (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Region: Vermont Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader
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SueVT
Jan 11, 2020 8:16 PM CST
I bought the 36" one - I am pretty tall, about 5'9", it seems like it will be about the right length to work with.
Suevt on the LA
Name: Ginny G
Central Iowa (Zone 5a)
Plant Addict!!
Daylilies Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hibiscus Irises Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Legalily
Jan 11, 2020 8:46 PM CST
I got the daylily divider and love it. Works great. Hurray!
Be a person that makes others feel special.
Name: James
California (Zone 8b)
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JamesT
Jan 12, 2020 8:15 AM CST
It looks like a good tool, anything to keep from having to bend over and work in a crouch. (There's a reason it rhymes with 'ouch'.)

I'm still old-schoolin' it with a pair of these.
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Half-inch brass rod, 16" long, with the tips ground to an ogive. I bought some rubber hose for handles, but they work fine as-is. Before that I used a couple of large, cheap screwdrivers with smoothed tips, but the sun got to the handles, and they rusted pretty badly.

Back-to-back digging forks are great for prying the biggest, toughest ones apart. A lot of clumps get cut in half, I'm usually thinning out anyway.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Jan 12, 2020 8:34 AM CST
That homemade tool looks interesting, James. I, too, use two back to back garden forks for big clumps.

Neat looking tool, Sue.
Touch_of_sky on the LA

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