I adore hostas. Of course I have to share them with the giant mollusc population, but a combination of grit, copper vessels and my boot on an early morning means I generally get a good show.
I’ve had several for many years and they’ve been getting more and more congested and this year I really had to do something about it.
I had a good excuse – a new, shallow terracotta planter I inherited from a dear friend which I wanted to fill with a display of different coloured leaves in a shady corner – and the desire not to spend any more cash on plants.
They’ve also got infested with shallow-root weeds such as violets (I know, they’re not really a ‘weed’ but they self-sow like crazy and somewhere in places I wish they wouldn’t. I never normally remove them though…) so it was a good excuse to clean everything up.
Getting them out of the pots was relatively easy, but the roots were so congestedI couldn’t begin to divide them by hand. Some people suggest just using a knife, but I decided to just pull them apart using two forks.
It took bloomin’ ages but each ten-inch pot yielded at least four new plants – I could have divided them further but I want them to bulk up quickly.
Hostas like a nice rich soil, with plenty of moisture, so I added generous amounts of manure to the mix, though I did ensure plenty of drainage.
I added a ring of copper tape and finished off with a layer of grit to discourage slugs, but have temporarily covered the whole thing with chicken wire as, frankly, the local cats were all eyeing my new ‘litter tray’ with distinct interest…