In November 2011, I moved my rhubarb plant from a pot to ground near the apple tree at the back of the garden. The rationale had been that as the tree grew, there would be more shade for the rhubarb, which it loves. But the apple tree has not grown anywhere near as much as I expected, so the rhubarb was not in a great deal of shade in the spring and summer!
Rhubarb likes damp conditions, so in my south-facing garden, where it was, was not conducive to maintaining any kind of dampness. In other words, it was in the wrong place.
On the other hand, there was a spot close to the house by a tall fence which gets little direct sunlight. It’s not sheltered enough for really damp conditions but any water is going to evaporate more slowly from there. So, maybe not optimum conditions but much better than near the apple tree.
The hole I dug today was much deeper than the one I dug three years ago. Then I have to admit to a spot of laziness…. With the topsoil being so shallow you soon hit hard clay subsoil and then the going does get tough. Perhaps because of the wet weather recently, though, the subsoil today was easier to manage. Or perhaps I was simply more determined. Either way, the hole second time round was much deeper.
Then when it was time to dig up the rhubarb, I had a much easier time. The soil was mostly compost and the roots were compact, so after easing away the surrounding soil I was able to simply lift the rhubarb out. Then place in the hole prepared with lots of lovely manure. A farmer’s wife once described rhubarb to me as greedy, so I made sure the rest of hole was filled in with more muck and now it is happily in its new home I hope.
The photo below shows the rhubarb in the new hole before it was filled in. The root’s diameter is about eight inches.
Can’t wait to see how the rhubarb fares this year!