Dad aka The Botanist had transplanted five rhubarb crowns up here, the deep red specimens he loved, commenting every time he picked them, “See how dark the stalks are!”
By last summer, however, the plants were looking peaked. Consultations with several people reached the same conclusion: they needed more light, fewer weeds to compete with, and a shot of nutrition.
Last fall, The Guru and I attacked all these problems. We cut down overhanging branches—more light. We removed the surrounding sod and covered the raw soil with newspapers*, weighted with rocks so they wouldn’t blow away—competition reduced (at least temporarily). And, courtesy of our friends at Spinner’s End Farm, added small shovelfuls of llama/sheep poo, designed by nature to take some years to break down—nutrition added!
So far, it looks like we’re on track for a full recovery of the rhubarb plants!
* A long-time practice of The Botanist.