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Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 9:46

Here I thought I would just quickly dig up the Lady ferns, split them and replant. HA! They've been in place for something like 9 or 10 years, so of course they're well established, but I had to get out the knife and actually cut through the root system, shovel wouldn't do it. I'm sore today, especially my shoulders.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

No kidding about Lady ferns being tough and prolific!

Years and years ago I planted "a few" in an area with my daffodil bulbs. I thought the combo of feathery green foliage against yellow narcissus would look spectacular in Spring. Well--- it did --- for a few seasons. Then the ferns took over and completely overwhelmed the daffodils, which were choked out by the spreading ferns. Never saw those 50 bulbs again.

You're mighty determined to have conquered the ferns. Did you replant them someplace where they won't bother other plants?

RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 15:00

No, I haven't replanted them anywhere yet - they're sitting on the grass in part shade. I'm going to try to get them planted in the next couple days - I get the feeling they'll be just fine in the meantime...

This post was edited by mxk3 on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 15:03

RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

I had moved one earlier in the season and indeed what a heck of a huge chore! When I was done, I had dug out an area of more than 2 x 2 ft and grunted and lifted out the plant with three crowns that must have weighed a good 70 lbs. ... and that’s even after having removed some soil from the dense fine mass of roots ... I’m glad that I don`t have more of these buggers to move … oh, but they sure can be beauties!


RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 23:04

Maybe you could look for seedlings instead. Iv'e never been able to cut them apart & since they sprout like weeds here in WA state once they get too large for that spot I move them to the edge of the yard or dig & toss or give away at plant swaps. Others want them huge, but I have too many huge ones.

RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

this happened repeatedly ... to me ....

and then one day.. i as using my grinder to sharpen my lawn mower blades.. and i knocked the shovel over as it was leaning on the bench..

i had the bright idea to SHARPEN MY SHOVEL ... and you say.. NO WAY ... and i say..YES!!!!!

even a meat clever well honed.. and welded with your forearm.. is no match for a sharp shovel and your weight on it ....

i dont suppose you have a grinding wheel??? .. if not .. the local full service hardware.. who sharpens mower blades... will do it for a few bucks..

trust me.. its REALLY WORTH IT ...

all that said.. i always enjoyed micro surgery ... nothing like the thrill of turning one into many ... and then wishing you had some friends around.. lol .. back in the day .. i had a small ... 4 by 6 foot nursery bed.. and when i gave tours.. i could pull out spares to share with visiting peeps .... based on the response.. you would think i was handing out nuggets of gold.. lol ...

take care ...


RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

When my folks were alive, they lived in Michigan's U.P. and I visited them from Chicago. They had five acres of woods, and I decided to dig up some ferns to use in my shade garden back home. Boy, did THAT turn out to be a backbreaking project! Those babies did NOT want to leave Michigan!

I didn't get as many as I had hoped for, but a few years after they were planted in Chicago, under some juniper trees, they were MAGNIFICENT. One of the things I hated most about leaving my Chicago garden was leaving the ferns from Mom and Dad's woods in Michigan. But Kansas is really the last place they'd want to be. (I'm not too crazy about it either!)

RE: Didn't know ferns were so tough to divide!

Sharp shovel=good. DH using it to shovel rock right after you sharpen it=Grrrr..

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