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Posted by crazymommy 7b NC (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 15, 14 at 17:32

I spied some pots of Victoria in the store and brought them home. I've heard mixed reviews on rhubarb here. Is it possible? I heard on a local board ages ago that someone had success here with it. Anyone here have suggestions on the best place to try it?

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RE: Rhubarb?

I grow it in my garden and have for over ten years. I'm in South Raleigh, zone 7b. It does not like the weather here so on really hot years it suffers, often to the point of death. I just buy new roots in the Spring. The variety 'Victoria' does best for me but does not always show a lot of red on the stalk so a pie can look like you made it out of celery instead of rhubarb (it tastes the same as red stalked plants).

I have tried every trick in the book to keep this plant happy. Some people can get away with planting it in high shade, like under tall pine trees - this hasn't worked for me. I grow mine in full sun and in super rich, dark black soil that I double dig as deeply as possible. I continually add compost to the area around the plant whenever I can. I try to plant as early as I can. If the roots sprout early (like February) I will cover the crowns on really cold nights (below 28) but they can usually handle cold weather. Once the plant gets big I harvest 3-5 stalks and make a pie. I don't follow the guidelines in the books that suggest waiting for three years before harvesting. Around here you never know if the plants are even going to survive summer heat so I say harvest when you can and hope for the best. I never take more than a third of the stalks off of any one plant.

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