Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Return of the Rhubarb

Last year I ordered and planted two rhubarb plants. I knew this was a gamble. I live in zone 7b/8, and it gets hot here in the summer; rhubarb does not like extended periods of heat, and, in fact, one of the plants sank slowly into oblivion in early August. The other one was a bit sturdier from the start—with thicker, longer, more numerous stems—and it stayed above ground until September before dying back.

After I had planted my rhubarb, a friend told me that she had tried more than once to grow rhubarb here, and it had never survived the first summer. This was not good news.

I thought that the one little rhubarb cobbler I had made last Spring might be the most expensive dessert I’d ever made. It looks like I can halve its cost, though, because the sturdier rhubarb has returned. It might be a miracle.

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear your rhubarb made it. My DH would really like to plant some, but thought it wouldn't make it here. Maybe we'll try putting some in where it will get afternoon shade.

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  2. Katherine,

    Planting the rhubarb really was a big gamble, but my yard is a bit cooler than others in my neighborhood, because it sits down in a hole by the creek. I planted the two plants near the north edge of the wooded side yard, where they get some morning and early afternoon sun, but they are sheltered from the late afternoon sun.

    When I was looking for rhubarb, I almost didn't order any, until I found the variety Starkrimson, offered by the Stark Bros. Nursery. This variety is supposed to survive to zone 9. Of course, that is the "cold hardiness" zone. No catalogue refers to the heat zone hardiness, but I figured that a plant good to zone 9 would be a better bet in NW Georgia than one whose warmest zone rating was for zone 7.

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