In the Garden:
Inland Northwest, High Desert
Spread daylily roots like a skirt over a mound of soil in the planting hole.
Even in the coldest corners of our region, the soil is showing through the snow in spots. And it's been a dry winter in many areas. If your soil has thawed enough to work, then it's time to get gardening. That means I can plant one of my favorite perennial flowers, daylilies (Hemerocallis).
Digging the Hole
The old saying is "Dig a fifty-cent hole for a two-cent flower." Well, inflation has changed those numbers, but you get the idea. Dig the hole big. Instead of individual holes, I like to dig a large, irregular shape, about one shovel deep. All that digging loosens up the soil throughout the area, which roots appreciate. Plus, the plants can be placed so they are less likely to come up in straight rows, all lined up like soldiers.
Guide the Roots
Daylily roots flare out, much like the roots on a bare-root rose. And like roses, they need a mound of soil to sit on. Scoop up the loose soil and make little volcano-shaped pedestals for the daylilies about 1 foot apart. Gently spread each plants roots around its mound like a full skirt. The crown should be seated right at soil level. Fill in the hole with crumbled soil, pat down gently, and water.
Care and Feeding
Feed daylilies with a water-soluble fertilizer after the flowers have gone. Let the leaves die back in winter and leave them. They will protect the roots and crown. Daylilies won't need separating for at least 3 years, so just enjoy this carefree, blooming show.
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