Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fun with Rhubarb

I love rhubarb - love-love-love it! I started off with 2 plants & quickly realized that this would not be enough. I now have 6, but they are still young plants & are still recovering from the transplanting process. So, I thought I'd try a little experiment to see if I can boost my production potential for this year.

2 year old plants
newly transplanted rhubarb
This is what some of my plants look like. They are not so happy. I might have too much 'mulch' around them, but I didn't want to throw the large debris into the composter. I think I need to dump some compost around these 2 plants & let them be - again - for another year.

These are my oldest plants - still only about 3 years old & I actually thought I had lost them this winter. They were very slow to emerge (about 3 weeks behind the ones pictured above). They have received lots of fresh compost over the last couple of summers, so I think that's what the rest will need too.
black bucket action

What I did to encourage growth was to put a black planting pot over top of them. I had heard a while ago that putting a laundry basket on top will enourage growth, but I don't have one available for 'yard duty'. But I do have lots of pots...

April 13
This plant has had the bucket treatment for the longest & I've actually done a harvest of the stalks already. They were very firm, very red & didn't have much leaf growth.

April 21 - growth of a an inch or 2

I guess the purpose of the black bucket is to make the plant think it needs to grow taller stalks to get the leaf tips closer to sunlight.

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