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Mammals, etc.

Saturday I found H. 'Shogun'  had finally come up. I thought it had been
lost.. 'Shogun' came up as six very small sprouts. I dug the plant to see
what the root system looked like.  I found  six rootless pea sized pieces of
rhizome each with a small sprout. It looks like over the winter the voles
ate everything except for the dormant buds,  the six resulting plants this
spring  are smaller than tissue culture plugs. At least I didn't lose my
hosta entirely.

I let my Jack Russell Terrier dig mole and vole runs. If a small plant is
right in his way I will dig it and move it someplace else. I study the root
systems of plants I find near these runs. Almost every hosta along these
underground runs shows some damage.  I have found that voles will eat the
long fibrous roots first and then proceed to eat the crown. Above ground
there is usually very little sign of the underground damage. Of course
sometimes whole plants are missing.

Many times I have found that when a plant is late to come up or comes up
small that it has been eaten partially by voles.

For late to emerge hostas I have considered hanging a metal tie wrap on the
plant stake to remind me that this one is late to emerge. That way I would
wouldn't have to worry when I see one that's not up yet. I'm sure most of
you carry this information around in your heads. I would too but my head's
full up.

Don't  hostas look great in the spring? This year I'm moving hostas that I
planted close together 2 years ago to their mature spacing. This should be
their last transplant for a long time.

When I move hostas I use a heavy duty (Smith and Hawking) 4 tine digging
fork and am very careful not to cut off any root tips. Large clumps can be
very heavy and hard to pull free from the ground. I have been thinking it
would be nice to have a tool that was designed to pull large clumps of
hostas. Anybody have any interesting ideas.

Diggin and Movin,

Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE
zone 7

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