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Sabattus Maine
elleseetee
Jun 16, 2021 12:32 PM CST
My rhubarb plant looks horrible this year. The stalks are scrawny and already they are woody and lack moisture. I have been watering them almost every day. Last year they were so full and lasted all summer.
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jun 16, 2021 12:42 PM CST
I have found rhubarb to be a heavy feeder. I mulch with steer manure, the bagged kind which I think has been aged so it doesn't burn. And, yeah, lots of water.
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Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
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JBarstool
Jun 16, 2021 12:45 PM CST
As they say...when it's raining, water your rhubarb anyway. And aged steer manure is good.
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 16, 2021 2:20 PM CST
I agree!
If you don't fertilize, and they love a lot of it, you get scrawny stalks.
It seems like I could never give my rhubarb enough water.
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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 18, 2021 10:21 AM CST
How long do you water?
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 18, 2021 10:29 AM CST
Well I keep the soil tilled and loose. I water up an down the row twice typically. I try to make sure it gets about 6" deep. I water every three days typically and more as warm weather approaches. Eventually the heat killed the growing season as the heat brought upon skinny stalks and heavily fibrous stems.
But my yield would often start mid to late April and last until July 1st. I produced more then enough in that 10' Long double row but that's what freezers were for.
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[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 18, 2021 10:30 AM (+)]
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Sabattus Maine
elleseetee
Jun 18, 2021 10:31 AM CST
After reading more about rhubard, I think my biggest problem is they are crowded and the plant needs to be separated.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 18, 2021 10:46 AM CST
Good luck
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 18, 2021 10:47 AM CST
elleseetee said:After reading more about rhubard, I think my biggest problem is they are crowded and the plant needs to be separated.

What is your spacing?
How old are the plants?
How long do you water?

Rhubarb needs water down deep, not on the surface; an occasional long soaking watering is better than frequent short ones.
Too many sites say you can pick some after two years but if you want to last, wait for three years; this is from experience.

[Last edited by RpR - Jun 18, 2021 10:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
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MaryE
Jun 18, 2021 11:10 AM CST
My rhubarb grows well into September. Plants do need to be divided every few years. I fertilize mine with manure based compost, then set a small sprinkler next to the stems and water with a gentle shower under the leaves.
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Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
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Leftwood
Jun 20, 2021 3:28 PM CST
If your rhubarb is really suffering from lack of water, it is also going to droop with wilting leaves. My rhubarb occasionally wilts and it doesn't make the stems woody, although I'm sure the succulent quality is less. My point is that if your rhubarb isn't wilting, and yet you have inedible stems, the problem is not lack of water. It is something else. It could be too much water if your soil is heavy - only you would know, not me. With any plant that is overwatered, roots don't function like they should and don't absorb and bring up water and nutrients like normal, or worse, the roots rot.
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