I had a rhubarb plant that just wasn’t doing much. It came back every year, which is more than I can say for many of my plants, but the stalks never really got big enough to harvest. I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to transplant it. My husband tilled up a new garden next to the driveway and added in a nice decomposed hay+manure mixture from the pasture. After that was ready, I went to dig up the rhubarb plant. However, I wasn’t anticipating the root system on that thing! Wow! When I transplanted it to this location a number of years ago there wasn’t much to it, but now its main root was close to two inches in diameter. It was like digging up a tree root! Now I know where it’s been putting its energy the last few years, since it certainly wasn’t into making rhubarb for me.
Once I finally got it out, I split it into a bunch of individual plants. Before I dug it up my plan had been to split it into two or three plants, but there were a bunch of little shoots that I ended up taking apart too. I mean, why have two or three rhubarb plants when you can have 15? I wasn’t sure if the little ones would survive, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I then took my bucket of plants over to the new bed and made 15 holes at a spacing of about 18 inches. I put the biggest ones front and center, figuring they had the best chance of making it, and put the smaller plants around them.
I diligently watered for the first week or so, until we had a rainy spell. About two and a half weeks have passed now, and it looks like they’re doing pretty good! It appears that the few stalks they had on before I transplanted have wilted and died, but the main part of the plants have started producing vigorous new growth.
Hopefully after not too long I’ll have some delicious rhubarb recipes to share with you! Rhubarb bars… Rhubarb crisp… Rhubarb muffins… Stay tuned!