This may seem back to front if you are not already growing rhubarb, so if you are just starting out, then jump over to Rhubarb, Rhubarb and start there. This is a cycle, so you’ll be back here in about 5 years when you are ready to divide your rhubarb plants… after a shiptonne of delicious red stalk harvests.
🌿🌿🌿 Way too squishy
After some years of easy, low mainenance, forgiving and dang tasty service, your rhubarb may start to become overcrowded. Here are a few signs that it is time to lift and divide:
➡️ The stalks may start growing every-which-way instead of up, just to compete with each other.
➡️ Stalk and leaves will start to lose size and vigor – even though we like to harvest stalks when not too thick n fibrous, these smaller stalks will be noticeably limp, numerous and increasingly horizontal.
➡️ Overly shaded conditions owing to crowding will provide a haven for snails that aren’t affected by the leaf toxins, and may use your rhubarb as a resort from which to make day trips to other vegie beds.
➡️ Your rubarb will start to feel like it needs to spread wings, throwing up more and more unhelpful flower stalks that need removing.
📺 Margaret Sirl has got the goods
Why re-invent the wheel? This video from Margaret Sirl, who contributes regularly to ABC Local, is a great resource and shows beautifully how to lift and divide the clumps. Check it out via the link below:
Here is the result in our garden. There were so many that we planted enough for us, and plenty to share once they have healthy summer growth on. I topdress with lucerne mulch or pea straw to keep Spring weeds down (especially since we just disturbed the soil, giving weed seeds lots of light to spark growth). I won’t harvest this lot til later in summer, just to give them a break.
Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿