Growing Rhubarb

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PLTannery
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Growing Rhubarb

Postby PLTannery » Fri May 09, 2014 9:42 pm

Ok... Now I have about had it with my Rhubarb plant... Third year in a row it has gone to seed and never produced a single edible stalk... Tried covering the stalks, tried watering heavy, tried cutting off the seed head... and all those tips and tricks friends and family suggested... And once again this year Its gone to seed the first week in May with green stalks...

Any tips? Too much sun? Not enough Sun? Too much water? not enough? I see rhubarb growing at old home steads just fine and perfectly edible... But not mine...

Anyone have the secret?

Thanks!
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Nesikep
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Nesikep » Fri May 09, 2014 9:46 pm

I was just thinking about rhubarb today, we have about 4 plants, they grow along the 'old road', which has been inactive for about 80 years, gets a bit of water once in a while, when there's overspray from the hayfield next to it, gets a yearly trampling from the cattle, and is always beautiful. Don't know why...
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby PLTannery » Fri May 09, 2014 9:49 pm

Maybe I just try too hard... Maybe its one of those plants that loves neglect...
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Nesikep » Fri May 09, 2014 10:01 pm

I'm kinda wondering that... it seems to always be beautiful in old abandoned barnyards.. though I recall your climate is a lot like mine (I see sagebrush), so it'll still need *some* water. We have a few stinging nettles by a barn... haven't seen water in 50 years, and manage to survive the summers with virtually nothing.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri May 09, 2014 10:45 pm

M2O

1) Manure
2) Manure
3) Water

and after a long time you should really divide them.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby PLTannery » Fri May 09, 2014 10:57 pm

We have LOTS of manure... I think I'm gonna move it to the sunnier side of the yard and I'll mix alot of our pasture compost into it... See if that works... Plant has been there for 4 years and has about 6 bases... so I'll divide it up too. We have ALOT of sage... Very alkali soil that is rich in some areas and very poor in others. The original plant came from the neighbor about a mile away... They grow theirs in an old tractor tire and do nothing to it... and they get several pickings off it each year.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Aaron » Sat May 10, 2014 12:21 am

Stocker Steve wrote:M2O

1) Manure
2) Manure
3) Water

and after a long time you should really divide them.


X2

I think #3 might be better if it was liquid manure.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Nesikep » Sat May 10, 2014 12:29 am

Where ours is located, it's at the base of an old rock wall, and actually is one of the shadier places around... it never gets manured... and haven't been divided in.. well, since before we were here (25 years)
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat May 10, 2014 5:57 am

Good rhubarb grows thigh high. Best I have ever seen was my Grandfathers. He had a bed of about 10 plants.

Traditional red/green variety. Sun, lots & lots of manure, and he dug around it every week or two for (panfishing) worms. No rubber tires were used, but when I think about it, the bed was close to the old outhouse...
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby greybeard » Sat May 10, 2014 9:24 am

Wish I knew more about it. Best pie I ever ate in my life was a strawberry/rhubarb pie I had in Oklahoma City. That's been 15 years ago and I still remember it.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby alisonb » Sat May 10, 2014 10:14 am

As far as I know rhubarb likes slightly acidic soil(I use pine needles or bark to adjust pH). Mulch them well keeping the soil moist at all times, don't let them dry out completely as this will cause bolting.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Kingfisher » Sat May 10, 2014 1:48 pm

greybeard wrote:Wish I knew more about it. Best pie I ever ate in my life was a strawberry/rhubarb pie I had in Oklahoma City. That's been 15 years ago and I still remember it.

I'll second that! They sell em at HEB at times. They told me they add the rhubarb once strawberry gets short. I love em.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby Alan » Sat May 10, 2014 2:21 pm

PLTannery wrote:Ok... Now I have about had it with my Rhubarb plant... Third year in a row it has gone to seed and never produced a single edible stalk... Tried covering the stalks, tried watering heavy, tried cutting off the seed head... and all those tips and tricks friends and family suggested... And once again this year Its gone to seed the first week in May with green stalks...

Any tips? Too much sun? Not enough Sun? Too much water? not enough? I see rhubarb growing at old home steads just fine and perfectly edible... But not mine...

Anyone have the secret?

Thanks!



So back to the original question, :D We have rhubarb and every year, early spring it produces seed heads. Ground is still very, very wet, so plenty of water, we put horse manure around the base every year. Yet it is a month before we can plant a garden here and rhubard with a seed head. I know from experience it's too late to hope for good stalks now.

I did google it and the only thing I found is that I need to catch the seed head, flower sprout, when it's at the base of the plant ....... But it does not sound like you all do that ..... Or not?

Any help?
Thanks,
Alan
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby regolith » Sat May 10, 2014 5:35 pm

Alan wrote:
PLTannery wrote:Ok... Now I have about had it with my Rhubarb plant... Third year in a row it has gone to seed and never produced a single edible stalk... Tried covering the stalks, tried watering heavy, tried cutting off the seed head... and all those tips and tricks friends and family suggested... And once again this year Its gone to seed the first week in May with green stalks...

Any tips? Too much sun? Not enough Sun? Too much water? not enough? I see rhubarb growing at old home steads just fine and perfectly edible... But not mine...

Anyone have the secret?

Thanks!



So back to the original question, :D We have rhubarb and every year, early spring it produces seed heads. Ground is still very, very wet, so plenty of water, we put horse manure around the base every year. Yet it is a month before we can plant a garden here and rhubard with a seed head. I know from experience it's too late to hope for good stalks now.

I did google it and the only thing I found is that I need to catch the seed head, flower sprout, when it's at the base of the plant ....... But it does not sound like you all do that ..... Or not?

Any help?
Thanks,
Alan


I don't think you can stop it flowering once it's started, I've certainly tried it with celery and leeks when they start bolting, and it doesn't work, might have tried it with rhubarb once. Rhubarb confuses me, only once since leaving Scotland have I had a nice producing plant and I brought a section of it to this farm when I moved and ... nothing. Produces stalks alright but there's no sweetness in them.
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Re: Growing Rhubarb

Postby PLTannery » Sat May 10, 2014 7:55 pm

Sounds like I am gonna dig this sucker up and plant it in 4 different spots, with 4 different soils and hope for the best.... At this point I have nothing to lose. And I am glad that I am not the only person who has issues with rhubarb....

Like Alan said- I've tried cutting the seed stalk off as soon as it heads but it doesn't help... The plant just doesn't grow right...

The stalks on this plant are small, too. About half the size of an average piece of celery.

Thanks for the input everyone!
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