Some of my large plants divide quite easily and I simply have to pull them apart into neat little clumps, but others have roots that are so tangled and intertwined that it is like digging into solid rock. Add some crabgrass to the mix, and you have a marathon challenge sitting in front of you. I kind of -- make that REALLY -- wanted to just get out the saw and call it done, but thought better of it. The less root damage, the better. For the more difficult plants, I hosed the roots off, let them dry a bit so I could see what I was dealing with. Then I inserted two pitchforks into the center and and broke the large clump apart.
After the clumps were smaller, I sat with a long screwdriver, carefully digging to get all of the crabgrass out. While the screwdriver works great, Ange wasn't thrilled with me using his prized tools to dig in daylilies. He came up with a clever solution by re-purposing a T-Handle Allen Wrench into what I call my 'daylily digger-gadget.' It works like a charm! This digger-gadget helps to get the weeds out. Then I can easily muscle the tiny clumps apart. The daylily digger-gadget has been my constant companion over the past few weeks.
Also note the stainless steel sterno pan/warming tray that I use to hold plants, and do 'surgery.' When I'm working on more than one plant at a time, each plant sits in a separate tray so as not to get mixed up. (I always keep the name tag with each plant.) Ange found five of these sterno trays at a garage sale for a dollar. They are sturdy, easy to carry, and can be hosed off easily. Plus they don't take up much storage space over the winter. In fact, I use one of the trays in my garden utility cabinet to store hand tools. I bet the sterno tray manufacturer didn't have gardening in mind during research and development!