The weather report warned on Easter Sunday of a big dip in temperatures, with days going from low 20s to 10 degrees Celcius. Brrrrr! We’d been lured into false confidence that spring was truly with us, and yesterday it was indeed overcast, cold and breezy! (But no complaints – there were deadly tornadoes in America, so mustn’t grumble too much about the weather.)
But we took immediate advantage of this reprieve from warm sunny (almost scorching) days to do a garden task – albeit out of season.
The rhubarb patch on the allotment had always been intended to be moved to the back patch. Partly because rhubarb quite simply takes care of itself and is better suited to a low maintenance patch, and partly to make space on the allotment for valuable annual crops for other seasonal edibles.
So we cycled up to the allotment, did a quick session watering the seedlings (radish, beet, coriander etc as well as the greenhouse trays), then plucked off the majority of growth from each crown of rhubarb, dug them up into a plastic tub, slung it onto the back of the bike and then returned promptly to the house and back patch.
Transplanting rhubarb is a task normally kept for late autumn or much earlier in the spring. So we’re doing the work out of season, but I’d wanted to harvest the rhubarb earlier this spring and also… well… we simply never got around to it.
We’d dug over and added manure into the back patch new rhubarb plot in anticipation, so all we had to do was plot the crown into the ground and water thoroughly. We won’t be able to harvest ANY more rhubarb from these plants until next spring at the earliest.
Many gardening guides recommend giving a full year of growth (with no harvesting), but I’ve found that rhubarb are quite robust and don’t really need that kind of cossetting. That being said, they do need at least this growing season to settle themselves in.