secret to dividing monkey grass?

MiaOKCMarch 6, 2012

Hi - is there a secret to making divisions of monkey grass? It's just so danged hard to divide! I'm throwing my whole weight on the shovel, but the roots are tough. I've even asked DH to take a crack at it, and he is worn out. Any secrets to share?

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I haven't had any monkey grass in a while, but I used to divide it with a hacksaw. It sounds harsh, but the plants didn't seem to mind and they grew just fine.

Donna in Norman who wishes she had some monkey grass in her ornamental beds and might just go buy some

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 6:48PM
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chilehead58(z6b OK)

While in college, I worked for a while at a groundcover nursery, and we used a hatchet to split the clumps into manageable pieces, cutting the root side. Worked as well as any other method I've tried.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Use a machete!

So, the issue is how to get it out of the ground first, so that you then can cut it up? Use a digging fork or a mattock, and it helps if you do it while the ground is moist, a la' Three Bears Style....not too wet and not too dry, but just right (moist).

Here where I live in the Oklahoma outback, armadilloes will dig it up for you if there are some tasty grub worms luring underneath it or in it. So, all you need is a good, digging armadillo, but I'm assuming you don't have any of those.

If you have a substantial amount of it to dig and divide and the digging part is extremely difficult, you might be able to get it out of the ground with a sod cutter, which you can rent from an equipment rental place. That might not be financially feasible if the monkey grass is the only sod you'd be cutting though. I don't know what it costs to rent a sod cutter nowadays.

I love the way Monkey Grass looks but won't plant it here in our dense clay precisely because I'm afraid I'd never be able to dig and divide it!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 12:36AM
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Water it well, a day or two before trying to dig it up. I have used a hatchet to divide the plants once... :)


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:54AM
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Thanks for the advice, all! I'm going to hope that this rain we are supposed to get will moisten it for me and attempt division on Saturday. Must get a cutting implement - I have all kinds of woodworking tools (circular saw, table saw, jig saw) but not a single hatchet or machete! I think I do have a hacksaw somewhere, but I use that when working on plumbing/piping, so might save it from the garden.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:54AM
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the saw won't mind being used in the garden... :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 5:42PM
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