How to divide herbaceous perennials

By

Lee Bestall
Grow Your Own
14th October 2011

This week I've been dividing up herbaceous perennials, including the over crowded Astilbes, Hostas, Lupins, Delphiniums and some of the grasses.  When divided in autumn herbaceous perennials (those which die down to ground level at the end of each year) should establish a new root system over the next few months while the soil is still warm. 

 
Tools of the week

Litework Border Fork - 4063NB

LAWN CARE

You'll need a couple of forks, a spade and a sound surface to work on.  Lift the plant using a fork and place it on the ground. Then, depending on the plant, use either two forks back to back to prise the plant apart, or the spade to slice through the plant, as I did in this weeks 'how to' guide.
 
When dividing grasses, the majority are better done in spring as warm season grasses can rot over the winter.  Reference check each specific variety before dividing.
 
The autumn is also a great time for planting, and because the soil is so warm and moist, they really get off to a flying start and often turn into much strong plants much faster.  They will overtake those planted in spring and will soon provide the well established look. 
 
See our earlier 'how to' guide on how to prepare your soil for planting a new border, and look forward to a more colourful summer next year.

Lee 'The Gardener'

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The Author

Lee Bestall

Lee Bestall

As a horticulturalist and garden designer, I'll be guiding you through the seasons ahead, sharing tips, successes and failures and exploring some of the new and inventive products on the market.

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