You may think it is a strange time to be thinking about rhubarb, but if you want good rhubarb you have to feed it. Rhubarb seems to be a hungry critter. I remember when I was a kid my Grandfather was a dairy farmer. The rhubarb patch was just over the fence from the milk house.
My Grandfather would pitch some of the manure over the fence onto the rhubarb during the winter or early spring. We always had huge plants and plenty of Grandma’s rhubarb pie.
The above came to mind this summer when my rhubarb was looking rather drab. I got to thinking about Grandpa’s great looking rhubarb and remembered the cow manure. I didn’t have cow manure, but did have a plentiful supply of horse manure.
Horse manure is high in nitrogen, so I heaped the horse goodies around the plants and watered well. That rhubarb spring to life and lasted well into winter, much longer than it usually does.
So, a couple of days ago I loaded up the wheel barrow with more of the miracle fertilizer from the barn, raked the snow off the rhubarb bed and put on a good supply of horse manure. I am looking forward to an ample supply of rhubarb this summer.
If you do not have a horse manure factory at your place just look around. Anyone with a horse has manure and will be more than glad to get rid of some of it, especially if you offer to pick it up yourself.
Just be careful with horse manure, as with any other. As I said above, horse manure is heavy on the nitrogen and will burn some plants. It is best to use older manure, not fresh. And, you will want to check with the owner to see if they have been using a wormer or any medication in the feed recently. If so you can still use the manure, but let it sit out in the rain for awhile in an area that will drain away from the garden.
Feed your rhubarb now and it will feed you later. And, you can do more than make pies with rhubarb. Stewed rhubarb is very tasty and you can even make wine out of rhubarb. Plenty of good reasons to grow this plant.
Steve Wisley has been gardening organically for over a quarter of a century. He started this blog to guide others in starting and improving their organic garden to produce healthy, nutritious, great tasting food for their family, too.