Perennials will send signals to let you know that they would
like to be divided. The signals to watch out for include these:
reduced flowering, with the flowers getting smaller; growth in
the center of the plant dies out, leaving a hole, with all the
growth around the edges; plant loses vigor; plant starts to flop
or open up, needing staking; or it just may have outgrown its
bounds. These are the signs to look for and not a date on the
If division is indicated, spring is the preferred
time to divide. Some fleshy-rooted perennials such as poppy,
peony and iris are best divided in the late summer to very early
Division is usually started when growth resumes in the
spring. The process begins by digging around the plant and
lifting the entire clump out of the ground. Then, using a spade
or sharp knife, start to cut the clump up so that each section
is the size of a quart- or gallon-sized perennial. Discard the
old, dead center and trim off any damaged roots.
The divisions should be kept moist and shaded while you
prepare the new planting site. After replanting, water well and
protect the divisions from drying out.
Division is no more complicated than this. Some perennials
may be more difficult to divide than others because of their
very tenacious root system.
Division has as its primary goal the rejuvenation of the
perennial planting so it can continue to perform the way it was
intended. Many home gardeners have found that the process of
division is more traumatic to the gardener than it is to the
Many people have been asking about the Master Gardener plant
sale for this year. It is scheduled for April 30, from 9 a.m.
until noon, in the Logan County Fair Special Events Building on
the south end of the fairgrounds. The group will once again have
a good selection of annuals, perennials, houseplants, heirloom
tomatoes, peppers and a few other assorted items.
Mow the grass
as it is needed. To do away with catching or raking grass,
try to remove no more than one-third of the leaf blade. That
first trip out with the mower usually shocks us how long
some of the grass is.
control is just around the corner for many weeds. Look at
early May for the best control.
is largely unsuccessful in the spring because of large grub
size and a short life cycle. Look to August and September
for grub control.
becoming active, but controlling the grubs won’t help much
now. Look to a noose or scissor trap or one of the soft
baits with poison for control.
last killing frost date is about May 5 for our area, and
many gardening charts use May 10 for planting tender crops
in our area. This would include squash, peppers, tomatoes,
green beans and others.
flowering shrubs after they are done flowering. This will
promote growth and, hopefully, maximize your flowers for
If you are interested in using the
soil-applied treatment for Japanese beetle control on
ornamental trees and shrubs, the earlier applications allow
for better distribution in the plants. These treatments will
not eliminate damage but will reduce it by 50-75 percent
since beetles must feed until they consume enough of the
insecticide in the leaves.
University of Illinois Extension]