The plump buds on the hosta plants have now emerged from the mud and to prevent slug damage Pam watered the clumps with Slugclear. This liquid slug killer finishes off the slugs and destroys the eggs too.
If this job was not done, the new leaves would be full of holes.
As you know, we have a herbaceous border and this is the time to split the clumps. Don’t panic, this is best done every third year. Trouble is, time flies and we forget to do it.
Which plants need to be divided? Golden rod, phlox, Peruvian lilies and campanulas. There are lots of perennials and these are examples.
We need to do this job as soon as the ground dries out a bit. The best idea is to dig out the clump and by using two digging forks, you can thrust one into the edge of the clump and the other one back to back and then, pushing the handles together, split the clump.
If the clump is huge, use two garden forks back to back on the outside and dig out the piece on the outer edge because this part will produce the best flowers during the summer.
Planting is done straight away. Fork over the soil and add 4oz of blood, fish and bone fertiliser or Vitax Q4 pelleted fertiliser per square yard and fork this into the ground.
Perennial plants need to be supported and a fortune can be spent on buying supports which look ideal for the job.
If we go to Wisley, Kew Gardens or Ventnor Botanic Garden we see the herbaceous plants looking wonderful and there are no signs of supports.
How do they keep the plants upright during windy spells?
Sprays of hazel are widely used. These can be found in woodlands and just now they are covered with catkins. The ends of the branches are thrust into the outer edges of the newly planted clumps and the tips are bent over for short specimens.
The initial appearance isn’t elegant but it is very practical because after about six weeks foliage grows and hides the hazel sprays.
Once the replanting and staking is complete, the grass edge is cut using long-handled edging shears and to ensure the best professional appearance, the whole border is forked over to a depth of only two or three inches.
Mark my words, you will be delighted you took time and trouble to get on with these jobs because you will be looking forward to summer.