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Rhubarb Question


 
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Charles_Dimmock
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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Joined: 27 May 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Rhubarb Question Reply with quote

Hi guys, My established rhubarb plant (2nd year) is now looking really healthy after being transplanted to the allotment.

I also bought a new crown that is in it's first year but has a number of big thick stalks and a number forcing their way through.

What should I do regarding harvesting? Will I pick all of the stalks from my 2nd yr plant & leave the new plant to establish for next year or can they both be picked now considering they look so healthy?
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Rhubarb Question Reply with quote

My way (and it's only my way) is to only pull the thickest third of stalks on any stool at any one time and never to pull a stick anyway until is leaf is bigger than a sheet of A4. I have two stools of Timperley Early in this garden and it grows biggish. I have seen scrawny little sticks elsewhere no thicker than my thumb. I'd be wanting my sticks to be at least twice as fat.

While we're talking anyway, there is a discussion elsewhere on the forum about stewing the leaves to make a spray which is supposed to kill aphids. trialls are under way at my place at the mo. maybe you'd like to try it?

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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pleas only use this spray in the evening after the bees have gone home ! I read it may harm all insects, not just aphids.......
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Charles_Dimmock
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh looks like i might be in look then cause some of the leaves are huge, i'll try and get some pics and see what the opinion is regarding harvesting.

As for the spray, I'm looking to keep bees next year and don't like the idea of potentially harming any unknowingly so i'll pass on the spray I think.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I got my rhubarb plants there was an instruction with them to pick nothing in year one, pick sparingly in year two and thereafter pick what you like. If all species need to be treated alike, that may be of help but the above picking pattern clearly suggests that harvesting in general will deplete a plant's resources so the more you DON'T use, the better start you'll give it for next year.

I presume any stems not picked will return their nutrients back into the crown but, in any case, I think I'm right in saying that the roots absorb what they need for the next season during the autumn and winter and I always pile manure round my plants as soon as the tops die back at the end of summer.

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