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perennials: the tools of the trade

by dig the dirt editor

In order to divide perennials in your garden, you need some essential tools




about perennials  | read more about perennials
packing and unpacking | choosing a site | planting your perennials
perennial-care tips  | dividing perennials
 perennial specifics| dividing bulbs |tools of the trade

Digging tools:

  • You’ll need a sharp spade to dig out a perennial in order to divide it.
  • You can also use a perennial lifter, a tool that allows you to pull a plant out of the ground--especially great in cramped spaces.

Separating tools

  • Two English digging forks, back-to-back, are the best tools for separating large clumps.
  • To cut apart rhizomes, such as irises, try a knife.


Sharpening tools

  • It’s important to keep dividing tools sharp; sharp tools make clean root severs, causing less stress and trauma to the plant.
  • A file or sharpening stone will keep your tools on the cutting edge.


Neatness-counts tools

  • To protect your hands while digging and replanting perennials, don a pair of sturdy gloves.It is also best to keep the garden as undisturbed as possible, so use a tarp or hauling bag to protect the grass around the borders. (Just lay it on the ground and perform division surgery on top. It’s the cleanest way to unearth a large plant and pull it apart.)


Save-the-knees-and-back tools

  • When doing a lot of dividing, you can save wear and tear on your knees with a knee pads.
  • To haul newly divided plants to their new homes in the garden, use a wheelbarrow.


Remember-where-you-planted-them tools

  • It’s a good idea to mark the places in the garden where you plant your divisions with plant markers. That way you won’t accidentally weed them out in the spring.


tools, tools of the trade, Perennials, dividing perennials