Upstate NY, zone 6. I have a rhubarb plant which is too big for the spot
where I planted it last year. This was obvious at the time I planted it, but
what's new? Anyway, I'd like to move it, and maybe divide it & give some to
a friend. It's just now showing some growth, maybe 3-4" high. Good time to
move it? What about dividing it? I haven't lived with the plant for enough
years to really tell how it grows. Single crown? Split it like a hosta? Are
they pretty rugged plants?
Split like a hosta and if possible a bushel of compost per plant. Take
off seed clusters if you see them.
Bill who assumes you know the leaves are toxic (High in oxalic acid).
We enjoy Rhubarb, sugar, vanilla as a stew with ice cream or just by its
"Many rhubarb problems can be traced to...." (He should be along soon to
tell me about my rhubarb tree) :)
Damn...I just ate one...
Recipe: Rhubarb Big Crumb Coffeecake
Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling
Butter for greasing pan
FOR THE RHUBARB FILLING:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
FOR THE CRUMBS:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cups cake flour
FOR THE CAKE:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For
filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with sugar, cornstarch and
ginger. Set aside.
2. To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and
butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid
3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg
yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together
flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful
of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened.
Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in
two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down
the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set
4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter.
Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.
5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch
to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are
around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted
into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45
to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
mine are only about 2" high, but they were in a big snowbank
until day before yesterday...
split is just like a hosta, mix manure & compost in the new
area & plant. rhubarb loves manure. then give it at least a
year to get established before you start picking it.
if you keep it watered & mulched, it doesn't get woody &
yucky as fast, either.
lee <30' row of rhubarb>
Last night while sitting in my chair
I pinged a host that wasn't there
I see your moving the rhubarb question was answered. Do you know NOT to cut
the stalks when harvesting but grab them down at ground level and twist them
off. I have no idea why but it's better for the plant, or so I was taught.
My grandparents had 100 total acres of blackberries, raspberries and rhubarb
they grew for market. The rhubarb harvesters were never allowed to cut/trim
the stalks until after they'd been twisted off. I have no idea if this is
true or just some old tale they insisted on when harvesting.
I just did some research about harvesting rhubarb. Apparently growers
insisted on the stalks being twisted off to insure the new growth for the
second harvest isn't damaged or cut by knives. Obviously strolling out to
the garden to harvest home grown is a little different situation than mass
commercial type harvest. Huh, interesting.
The quick answer is that it is just easier that way and you avoid accidentally
cutting part of the plant that you didn't want to cut (or yourself) which may
be a consideration if you want to work fast. If you are selling by weight you
get a bit more weight than if you cut it but it generally sells by the bunch.
As others have said the stuff is pretty indestructable.
I was taught by my grandfather and we basically give the stalk a firm tug
making sure to be in line with the way the leaf is growing. This separates
it at the ground level so you have the broad white end on the stalk with a
small bit of that brown filmy skin. You can't hurt it, but it gets rather
crowded at the base of the plant if you keep leaving bits of stalk on the crown.
If you remove the seed stalks when discovered and keep picking it, you can
still have nice, edible fruit well into August. And it's not woody or
stringy or anything. It's just that most folks let it go to seed and then
the plant stops growing new stalks and the old stuff gets tough. IMHO
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