The Q&A Archives: Rhubarb Not Growing

Question: Last year was the third summer at my house. The previous owner had an enormous rhubarb plant in the back yard that I was able to pick quite a crop from in the first summer there. The second summer, my husband inadvertently mowed the beginning of the rhubarb over and I did get some rhubarb, though not like the year before and last summer I had no rhubarb at all. (I did lose my garden 3 times last summer to a mole or groundhog - would a rodent eat my rhubarb plant?) What can I do to ensure a bumper crop this year (other than keeping the lawnmower away)?

Answer: In my experience rhubarb requires plenty of moisture and a very rich soil to do its best, and the dry weather we have been having has taken its toll. You might try top dressing it with compost or well rotted stable manure and/or general fertilizer this spring, mulch around it and water it deeply as needed to keep the soil moist. Since it suffered last year I would be careful about harvesting only lightly if at all this year so the plant can rebuild its strength. For the same reason, be sure to remove any flowers that form. And yes, try to keep the critters and lawnmowers away, too.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by cocoajuno and is called "Here's looking at you."