Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Growing Rhubarb

Thanks to Leanne for this great post on growing rhubarb in the back yard.
Leanne's rhubarb, planted this spring
Here’s how a recent conversation went with one of my friends:

Me: I’m really happy about how my rhubarb is coming along. It’s hard to believe I just planted it in May from a little 4 inch pot. It’s growing like crazy!
Friend: Have you seen the rhubarb I’ve been trying to grow under my apple tree for eleven years?
Me: Yeah, I did notice it just the other day, in fact. Eleven years, eh? It doesn’t look so good.
Friend: I know! Who can’t grow rhubarb???
Me: Do you water it?
Friend: Who waters rhubarb?
Me: Well… I do.
Friend: You shouldn’t have to water rhubarb. It’s supposed to grow anywhere, without any work – it’s a weed, for heaven’s sake!

Hmmmm…. You know that old saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”? I’m just sayin’…

Here’s what I did, based on advice from the book 3 Step Gardening: The Quick and Easy Way to Grow Fruit and Vegetables (Steve Mercer, 2009, Toucan Books):
I dug a big (3 feet in diameter), fairly deep hole in a partly shady spot in my backyard (seemed ridiculous for the little plant I was putting in it),filled it with fresh, lovely compost, transplanted the rhubarb,covered up the roots and left the new little shoots exposed, watered thoroughly and mulched with a thick layer of rotting leaves. Then I watered regularly, wanting to give my new plant a really good start, since I expect to have it for the next twenty years or more. 

Two sources are telling me not to harvest for the first year, but it looks so good… maybe just 1 cobbler’s worth?!?

Leanne,
Backyard Container Gardener

4 comments:

Adele said...

Don't harvest it, resist the temptation....What if you kill it? LOL

Anonymous said...

I think Leanne should make me a nice rhubarb pie next year. For the record, I can't grow zucchini either.
11 years and counting...

WolfSong said...

I'm not a fan of rhubarb, but I though you'd like to see Jackie Clay's...

http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/JackieClay/2010/06/02/its-amazing-what-a-little-manure-will-do/

I don't think I've ever seen it get that big!

Getty Stewart said...

Now that's some big rhubarb! That compost manure is amazing.