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We are faced with a devastating unexpected and unavoidable dig-up of our front yard due to sewer repairs. Our front gardens are large and established, and on Monday morning a track hoe is going to destroy half of it. We have two days to dig up and move what we would like to save, including some small shrubs.

The garden is ringed by large, mature hostas and some of them fall in the area that's to actually be dug out. We'll move at least some of those to save. However, the whole garden is bordered by similar mature hostas. The crew intends to drop plywood over part of the garden away from the trench on which to place excavated soil. If we allow the plywood to go down over the existing hostas in mid summer, can we hope or expect that they may return next spring, or will flattening by several yards of soil completely kill them?

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Depends how long the ply and soil are sitting on top of the hostas - if its just a short period (2-3 months), they'll be fine, though they may have disappeared or look terrible when uncovered again. If its a lot longer, say 9 months to a year, then its anybody's guess whether they'll grow again - the odds are that they will, but no guarantees.

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  • It will only be there for a half a day. They're going to put it down, dig up the garden to fix the sewer then put all the soil back. Is it silly to hope then that they may even bounce back a little yet this summer? – Michael Jul 22 '16 at 20:15
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    Well if its only half a day, they'll be crushed and battered, and you might have to cut them back, but whether they put out much or any new growth this year rather depends where you are - somewhere fall comes early, or somewhere it doesn't start till October.... but unless you're in the southern hemisphere, the growing season is already nearly done. It's a pity they can't construct a platform to pile the soil on, which would keep the weight off the hostas.... – Bamboo Jul 22 '16 at 20:52

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