Yes, folks, it is time for my annual love fest with rhubarb. I can get a bit crazy about it...declaring my never ending love, creating sonnets, that sort of thing. And believe me, there is no way this season will go by without some wacky display. Yesterday, I started posting rhubarb recipes on Portland Foodie, and you can expect more to follow. And today I am inspired to share the love...I want to tell southern gardeners that yes, you CAN grow rhubarb.
Here's a bit of information I found on growing rhubarb as an annual. The process is very similar to growing peas in warmer climates:
"Rhubarb can be grown as an annual from seed in areas that have a cool season (like a cool winter in the southern parts of the US). Plant seeds in nursery pots, transplant outside when the plants about 3-4" tall. Harvest stalks as they mature. Be careful to not over water it as rhubarb can get root rot if the ground is too wet. ECHO ("Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization") has claimed good luck with planting rhubarb seed in August and harvesting in March-May. Seed grown rhubarb will have fewer plants with the intense red color stems we are used to, but tasting a pie grown from subtropical rhubarb can help one overlook that quickly! You will probably get a mix of plant colors ranging from green through pink with a few plants with red or partly red stems. The variety Victoria is extremely productive. Seeds can be purchased from Park Seed Co. Greenwood South Carolina, USA."
Another method that Amy Pollman of Oklahoma City uses:
"I am growing mine in pots and is doing great. When it gets real hot they go under the pecan tree. I have had one plant for 2 years now and just planted 2 more two weeks ago."
I had another friend in Oklahoma that grew them on the east side of her gazebo...morning sun only. The plant seemed very happy!
Alright southerners, let's see you plant some rhubarb! Send me questions, pictures and progress!
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