I harvested my first ever rhubarb today! I am so excited! For those of you who haven’t heard my sad rhubarb story, I have been trying to grow rhubarb for about 5 years, and this is the first year I’ve ever gotten any. The first two plantings died, and we moved before I could see the outcome of the third. Those were all root stock I bought through mail-order nurseries. Last year I finally just gave in and bought a started plant from Walmart – and that’s the one that survived! I had always thought that rhubarb was one of those plants that you just couldn’t kill – I must have a gift!
Three years later, I am happy to report that I've had such good success with rhubarb that I was able to divide that same rhubarb plant I bought at Walmart into four separate plants. I was a little nervous, given my history, but I did my research and found that you can basically just cut up the root with a spade (trying to get at least one sprout per cutting) and replant in well-fertilized soil (hooray for clucker muck!) So I hacked away, accidentally even pulling up a 2-foot-long, 4-inch-diameter section of root (which I buried in a new location, just to see if it would do anything). Most of my cuttings were about 9 inches around (yes, it was a big plant!), and I pretty much just dumped them in their new hole and packed the dirt in around them. I spaced them generously - about four feet apart, which is about how big around this plant was last year.
Within days it was obvious that the new plants were doing just fine - the little sprouts were even starting to leaf out, with no sign of stress:
(or apple, or peach, or raspberry, or even zucchini!)
1 cup flour
¾ cup oatmeal
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Mix until crumbly, press half into 9-inch square pan. Top with 4 cups rhubarb, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces (If you use zucchini, just cut it into 1-inch cubes. Apples or peaches should be peeled and sliced.)
1 cup honey
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup water