Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Rhubarb Success (Maybe)

I'm starting to believe that my rhubarb-growing career may just be getting into gear.  Maybe.  (I'm afraid to jinx it by sounding too cocky here.)

Did I mention I've failed three other times? And I swore that if I didn't succeed in growing rhubarb this time, I was giving up? 

I'd provided a mansion of a hole for the bareroot.  I'd amended the tilth into the horticultural equivalent of a luxury suite.  I'd provided amendments enough to provide my future plant with every nutrient and mineral that any rhubarb could ever want.  I even made sure the pH was perfect.  After all that, I really thought that I'd failed yet again last spring when my latest victim left its entrance till quite late.

 Ahhh, but this year it showed up early and threw out lovely crinkly green leaves that thrilled my heart.  Apparently my careful preparation has paid off and I need to start perfecting my rhubarb cobbler recipe.  

I was puzzled by one baby leaf that looked like it was shrink-wrapped. 

I kept waiting for it to open up but instead it grew taller and taller. Eventually it dawned on me (duh!) that my rhubarb was blooming. I had no idea that such a thing was possible! Perhaps because I'd never kept a rhubarb alive long enough for it to even think about flowering.

Every day I would make a mental note to Google "rhubarb flowers" to learn more, but it's taken me a week to carry that thought from the backyard upstairs to the computer.  Too much multi-tasking?  Maybe.  So the bud grew taller and taller and eventually opened.  Cool.

Or not.  'Cause Google informed me that I should destroy that flower bud ASAP--that would explain why no other leaves, borne on delicious edible stalks, had appeared since the alien blob made its appearance.  

The flower is no more and I await the arrival of new leaves.  The flower went into the trash but I carried the stalk into the kitchen and made a mental note to Google "rhubarb flower stalk edible".  Yeah, haven't succeeded in doing that yet.

But I did get the photos into a blog post.  That counts, right?  And in time to join Jami's Tuesday Garden Party!



  1. OH, but that alien blob is so darn pretty! I never knew they bloomed either, but then, I've never gotten as far with rhubarb as you have. My first memory of the tart, tasty and stringy plant, was that of a child, I used to snatch it from our neighbors garden...what an imp! Congrats on your first Rhubarb success, kinda makes me want to give it another try.
    (You have such a way with words, you always make me chuckle.)

  2. Good Luck with your rhubarb-growing, it brings back memories of rhubarb and warm custard at my grandma's house.

  3. Your description of the soil had me smiling! Lucky you! I'm afraid I've given up on rhubarb (and I love it so). But I've tried about five times with 5 different locations. I think it's just too warm to grow it here. Good luck with yours!

  4. Wow, I'd say you are a real rhubarb farmer...How did we do anything before Google??? I know, we used encyclopedias and called our Mom's LOL!