Friday, February 26, 2010

Flaunting My Rhubarb

fertilizer Friday
I wish I had flowers to flaunt, and some day I will:February 2010 255But I do have rhubarb to flaunt:
February 2010 258My rhubarb is rebounding this year and I couldn’t be happier. They went through quite an ordeal last year, but they seem to have forgotten all about it!

Two years ago, I was introduced the the concept of perennials in the kitchen garden. I was excited by the idea of not having to start my garden each year from scratch. I planted little rhubarb plants, asparagus from roots, and started patience dock from seeds I received from Mother Earth news.

However, the rabbits devastated the rhubarb, eating them to the ground. I was sad, but moved on, then one day I noticed a green leaf peeking out of the ground. I set up an emergency perimeter with milk jugs and sprayed rabbit repellent outside the perimeter (not letting the repellent touch the plants; garlic flavored rhubarb doesn't sound so good). I hoped that would be enough to discourage the rabbits until I could find a safe location for the plants.

The rhubarb started to rebound while still guarded by milk jugs. I couldn't find a spot to plant the rhubarb where they would be safe, so my husband built another raised garden bed that could be devoted to perennials.

Below is a picture of the rhubarb after it was safely planted in a raised garden bed. Six of the plants went on to do very well last year. I am hoping for a much better, as well as, earlier crop this year.
Have you tried growing perennials in your garden? Have they made an appearance yet? If you feel like flaunting them head over to Fertilizer Friday and post your link.


Troy said...

We had rhubarb when I was a kid, but my mom took it all out because it turned into a hiding place for snails, and she couldn't get rid of the snails.

I hope to put some in this year, now that I have a litle more space.

Alea Milham said...

I will remember that when we move to our next home. The great thing about living in an inhospitable location is that the pests also have a hard time surviving here. :)

linda may said...

Love rhubarb. When you get it nice and big and to the stage when you can actually eat it, Cook some up with a punnet of strawberries thrown in and a tin of pie apple. Oh Yum.

Rosie Nixon Fluerty said...

I grew up surrounding by rhubarb plots - huge plots too - my grandad used to sell it. I love the stuff but its never done well in my garden - possibly because mine is so full of shrubs and flowering plants it never had a real chance of success.

Tootsie said...

my mom had a huge rhubarb plant when we were kids...I have not had one of my own yet..there was one on the property when we moved here...but I think my "husband" gave it away.
great post...good luck with the enemy local neighborhood cats...they will actually take the plants out of the bed to use it as a litter box. Cat urine kills soil.
anyways...happy weekend and thanks for joining in!

Little Miss Sisyphus said...

I have asparagus but i am in zone six so it wont be sprouting until April. This is the 2nd year after planting so it will be a light harvest and I will likely wait until June and only cut for a few weeks, depending on each plants growth.
I feel like this plot was one of my best garden investments. For 10 I received 20 Jersey Knight Crowns, and I think the payback for the next 3+ decades is well worth the very very minimal effort on my part to prepare and care for the bed!
you may need to install rabbit fencing and look into herbs that cats detest (mine hate mint, love catnip, go figure) or use a pepper based deterant.
Best suggestions for the rabbits is trap and eat them, they are probably pretty healthy if they are eating your food, and the season is probably long in your area...LOL.

Alea Milham said...

I hope you enjoy your asparagus harvest this year. I agree that the initial cost is well worth and will be recouped within a short amount of time.

We are doing our best to move everything edible to a safe spot behind fencing. Hopefully, some day I will have a cute little corgi guarding my garden!