Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General information and discussion about cultivating all other edible garden plants.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 4, 2020   #1
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,470
Default Growing Rhubarb In The South?

Question: Have any of you in the South ever tried growing rhubarb as an annual?

I grew up in the north where rhubarb was always available in season. Ah, rhubarb pies and my grandmother's canned rhubarb sauce. Wonderful stuff!
Down here it's too hot to grow rhubarb in the traditional sense. IF you can find it at any grocery (a BIG "if"), they have it only for a week or so and it's high priced. Not acceptable.

I've been doing some research and find that it can be grown as an annual here started from seed if it's started some time in July and planted out once temps start to cool down in the fall. A few young spears will be available to cut in spring before summer heat kills it. Time to do some experimenting growing it in a big container. The plan is to find a spot with six hours of sun but total afternoon shade and see how long I can keep it going.

At nursery trade shows we used to put ice on top of balled and burlapped show stock to keep them watered and I wonder if the same would help keep rhubarb roots cool on exceptionally hot days. For sure I'd paint the container white.
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5, 2020   #2
bitterwort
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: MN Zone4b
Posts: 253
Default

I'm not in the South and don't have trouble growing rhubarb in Minnesota, but I seem to recall a thread from many years back in which a woman from Texas or Georgia grew rhubarb in a large pot and kept it successfully from year to year by persuading a friend who owned a meat locker to keep it there in the winter months. I don't recall whether it was in a walk-in cooler or walk-in freezer, but she reported that it gave the rhubarb its required cold period.
__________________
Bitterwort
bitterwort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5, 2020   #3
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 766
Default

That's what I was wondering earlier, is really too hot in the summer? Or not cold enough in the winter? I guess I chickened out on asking.

I cover our rhubarb with leaf mulch or wood chips...but there were many years that went by without any assistance. The corms were about 6-8" down when I moved them. I don't think they'd freeze at that depth.

Therefore I'd guess a cold fridge rather than a freezer that would be at 0F.


If you could do that in the winter and keep them under a heavy shade cloth when it got hot... it might work?

Last edited by JRinPA; July 5, 2020 at 03:28 AM.
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5, 2020   #4
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,470
Default

Checking temp requirements for rhubarb indicates that winters need to be below 40F for meeting required chill hours. The almanac says:
"Rhubarb does best where the average temperature falls below 40ºF in the winter and below 75ºF in the summer."

Another site says:
"Ideal temperatures for growing rhubarb successfully are below 40 ° F, (5 ° C), in winter, and temperatures averaging less than 75 ° F (24 ° C) in the spring and summer months."

And a third says:
"...in really hot climes, rhubarb must be grown as an annual crop, planted fresh each year. Hot-weather rhubarb fiends start their seeds indoors (just like tomatoes) in August, transplant the starts outdoors at eight weeks of age into fertile, well-drained soil and harvest stalks December through April—after which the poor plants just burn up in the heat. "

It's gonna be fun trying!

I started three pots last night, 2 seeds to the pot after giving them a requisite two hour soak in water. Off we go!
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2020   #5
ScottinAtlanta
Tomatovillian™
 
ScottinAtlanta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 2,473
Default

I have tried for 6 years in Atlanta - seed, roots, all ways. Never succeeded. As soon as it got really hot, the plants shut down.
ScottinAtlanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2020   #6
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,470
Default

Scott, when did you plant yours out? Fall or spring? If in the fall, did you have any stalks at all come up?
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6, 2020   #7
ScottinAtlanta
Tomatovillian™
 
ScottinAtlanta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 2,473
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Scott, when did you plant yours out? Fall or spring? If in the fall, did you have any stalks at all come up?

Always early spring. I never tried the fall planting.
ScottinAtlanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7, 2020   #8
GoDawgs
Tomatovillian™
 
GoDawgs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Augusta area, Georgia, 8a/7b
Posts: 1,470
Default

Well, I guess we'll see how planting in the fall goes.
GoDawgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7, 2020   #9
Hensaplenty
Tomatovillian™
 
Hensaplenty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 92
Default

I'll be watching with great interest! :-)
Hensaplenty is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:32 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★