5 Steps to Dividing Perennials or Ornamental Grass

When dividing perennials or ornamental grass, it is important to wait until after the last frost. This may be hard to determine, but for Tennessee and Kentucky, it is usually early in the month of March. Dividing your perennials or ornamental grass will help them grow better in the upcoming growing season. You might want to water them a day or two before you plan to divide, but it is not necessary. Get more gardening tips in Tennessee & Kentucky Month by Month Gardening.

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Cut back the foliage on an overgrown perennial by about one fourth to reduce water loss in the transplanting process.

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Use a sharp spade to cut around the plant and gently lift as much of the root ball out of the ground as possible.

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Smaller root balls can usually be cut into pieces using a sharp knife. Larger clumps can be sliced with a sharp spade or pried apart using two back-to-back garden forks.

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Remove excess soil from the root ball so you can see what you are working with and remove any rotted or damaged roots.

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Replant the new plants as soon as possible at the same depth the plant was growing at or slightly higher to allow for settling, and water the soil thoroughly. If you can’t replant the same day, pot up the divisions and keep well-watered until they are established.

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gardening coverOur acclaimed Month-by-Month Gardening series gets a fresh update for gardeners located in Tennessee and Kentucky.

For nearly a decade, do-it-yourself gardeners in Tennessee and Kentucky have turned to the expert advice of Judy Lowe. Her unrivaled local gardening mastery has helped make our Month-by-Month Gardening series the definitive when-to and how-to resource for gardeners in regions across the country. Now, with a redesigned and easier-to-use format, fully updated information, and additional photography, this new edition of Tennessee & Kentucky Month-by-Month Gardening is packed with all the knowledge the Tennessee or Kentucky gardener and home landscaper needs to be successful.
Inside, you’ll find all the specifics on growing annual and perennial flowers, bulbs, grasses (both lawn and ornamental), roses, groundcovers, shrubs, trees, and vines throughout the year. Even during colder winter months, Lowe will have you planning for and improving upon the next growing season. In the spring and summer, you’ll be well equipped to cultivate the most beautiful flowers, the lushest lawns, and the sturdiest trees. From planting, watering, and fertilizing to routine maintenance and problem-solving, Tennessee & Kentucky Month-by-Month Gardening educates gardeners of all skill levels on the best practices for satisfying, rewarding results. And best of all, you’ll be reaping the benefits all year round.