Transplanting rhubard

March 31, 2023

No matter how skilled the gardener or how beautiful the garden is, rhubarb transplants are necessary. Transplanting rhubarb can increase the size and quality of your rhubarb gardens, decrease their size, and maintain healthy plants. This is an excellent job in the fall while preparing your vegetable gardens for winter.

Before I go into the details of how, when, and where to split, please take a moment to view our video on transplanting rhubarb.

Rhubarb ( Rhubarbarbarum is one of many perennial vegetables you can grow in your garden. Rhubarb thrives in temperatures below 40°F/-17°C (plant hardiness zones 3 to 6). For the plant to grow, it needs cold temperatures. Rhubarb must be divided every four to six years because its roots become old and gnarly.

Transplanting Rhubarb: What to do?

After the ground has thawed, you can transplant rhubarb early or mid-fall. Fall is the best time to transplant rhubarb because it has been dormant for the season and will be less stressed during transplanting.

No matter the season, the method we use to transplant rhubarb is the same.

How to Transplant Rhubarb

Transplanting Rhubarb – Whole Plant

This is what we wanted to achieve in the video. The blade of your spade should be inserted at least 6 inches into soil around the base of the rhubarb cluster. A 4-time spading fork (or perennial knife, as I call it) is often combined with a square spade. This combination has helped me avoid cutting my rhubarb roots. Slowly move the spade under the root mass. Then, turn it back to remove the entire root clump. You should avoid missing the root ball.

Transplanting Rhubarb – Increasing the size of your Rhubarb Garden

To increase the size and variety of your rhubarb gardens, you must divide the crown and the root system. You can do this by propagating rhubarb plants with 4 to 5 years old peaks. The entire plant can also be reconstructed as one big root ball. Look for the crown, the plant part closest to the soil. Divide the clump with a sharp spade (be sure not to damage the crown) so that each section has both the root and crown. The ideal is to have 2-3 eyes per division.

As with all perennials, the more established a plant is, the bigger its crown.

Transplanting Rhubarb: This will reduce your garden’s size while maintaining healthy plants.

Your rhubarb clusters will eventually become too big, and the eyes of each crown will become crowded. A smaller or thinner stalk is a sign that your rhubarb plants are ready to be divided. Many rhubarb plants will continue to yield a harvest for at least 15 years. The best rhubarb harvests are usually from older patches, typically between 8-10 years old. It is a good idea to divide the plants every 5-6 years, either in spring or fall.

It is best only to divide or transplant half of your plants each year. This will ensure a good harvest and help your transplants to re-establish. It would help if you did not leave any rhubarb crowns or roots behind. They are often enough to make volunteer rhubarb.

Transplanting Rhubarb: Where and how to re-plant

Rhubarb’s versatility is its greatest asset. Rhubarb can thrive in both full sun and light shade. This means you will have at least one spot where it will thrive in your yard.

Backfilling, digging, and planting your hole

Dig your hole four inches deeper than your root ball and 1.5 times wider for each crown that needs transplanting. Adding some soil can add your rhubarb root crown to the bottom of your hole. The height should be at the same level as the soil.

Fill the hole with compost or loose soil, ensuring it is not too close to the roots. Water well and water the ground once or twice weekly if necessary.

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