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When to Force Outdoor Rhubarb Zone 6A?

913 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Thunder Chicken
I have a good rhubarb patch established. One of the older plants was getting a bit overcrowded last season and I was thinking of trying forcing on it this year, then leaving it to recuperate for the rest of the season, then dividing it next fall. I believe this plant is a Victoria variety.

I have a large black plastic trashcan that will fit over the entire root ball, and I know to add compost and such. I was wondering when the best time to cover it would be? Do I wait for it to sprout, wait for a certain soil temp, etc..? It looks like we're getting an early spring this year, might get another small snow events but otherwise the ground is thawing.
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I bought some ruhbarb from an older patch and I think it was mid March when I planted it. Waiting for it to shoot up a little, then split it would be my advice.
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I'll probably split it in a few days. The ground is still a bit frozen but we're going to be pushing up through to the 70s on Wednesday and the rhubarb is already putting up buds.
Split it today. The buds were about an inch out of the ground. It was a big root ball, a lot bigger than I expected from what you could see at the surface. One of the roots was about as thick as my arm. I planted three of the divisions back into the ground after digging out some of the sandy soil and replacing it with a lot of compost. Nice rich soil tilled down to about 18". Potted three more in straight compost (we may be moving next year and so I wanted some plants that could be moved), and put the rest of the rhizomes in a half-filled bucket of water with a FREE sign out by the mailbox.

Spring is pretty much already here so I'll leave it at that. We've been getting good rain this week and will be getting a bit more today.
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