The Great Rhubarb Experiment: 3.5 years on

Inspired by a comment on the original article, here is an update on our Great Rhubarb Experiment.  In a word (okay, two words) , it is an astonishing success.  We continue to trial new varieties.   In the photo above, Crimson Sunrise is the plant in front  on the far right. while Red Surprise and Ebony are elsewhere in the yard.  But for all of us, Tina’s Noble continues to be the huge, vigorous standout.  It has now grown continuously for three and half years, slowing down in only the very hottest part of the summer but never going entirely dormant and coming back better than ever with the winter rains.   You can see in this photo that my original plant has developed three different heads (probably not the  correct term) and will need to be divided when I can figure out the appropriate time.

For sweetness and tenderness, however, Success is my favorite.   (It is the two plants on the front left in the top photo, the smaller just planted this year).  It tends to flourish at different times of year from the Tina’s Noble.  As a result we are all harvesting at least six to nine months out of twelve.

At this point, we haven’t ordered new seeds and therefore will probably not be offering anything other than plants thinned from our gardens.  Since seedlings are always iffy (just beyond my massive Tina’s Noble plant is one that is not doing as well) growing from divisions will probably yield more reliable plants in the future.

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