We aren't even in the deep south and can't get rhubarb to grow here. I hear you can raise it from seed as an annual, but still I try with actual plants. This was our third summer of trying and although things were looking good at first, it has turned out like the others. I don't know if other people grow it here but the Amish are selling rhubarb pies so I am guessing they manage ok.
Texas A&M says there is some that thrives around the Amarillo area of Texas, but I can't locate any. Heavily mulched it just might make it here. It gets cold enough in the winter in the Hill Country to break its dormancy and it should grow fine in Maryland area too.
Anyone on here from the Texas panhandle around Amarillo??
I purchased some seed from a nursery in Dallas off of ebay and they said they grow it.
I live near Atlanta Ga. and I just purchased some shade screen from a growers supply. Nurseries use it to cover a frame close to a single car awning. A big U shaped structure. At this time I place garbage cans in front to limit the amount of sun.
I had one get about 8 inches high and it wilted after about 4 hours of 94 degrees sun. My wife was watering and may have sprayed the leaf and it got to hot. This is why I purchased the shade screen.
I am going to use a couple of metal fence posts and stretch it up about 5 feet. As mine is next to a building. I found it does good until it goes over 90 degrees.
Shade screen comes rated according to how much sun gets through. Typically 50% to 70%.
As it comes 10 feet wide you could use a 6 foot piece of fence in a 3 foot circle and even cap it if needed. A rhubarb cover.
This nursery uses victoria and the university recommends this or valentine.
Otherwise you have to have a sheltered area with a limited amount of sun.
from an old appalachian mountain cookbook:
cut 1 pound pink fhubarb in pieces. mix with 1 cup water and 2 cups sugar. cook until tender and strain. chill and add 1/3 cup orange juice. serve cold in glasses, adding ginger ale if desired.
I found a couple of plants at the local lowes back in late february. I kept them in pots in my green house till the danger of frost was almost over and set them out. So far I have had two rhubarb pies from those plants. Nothing much to brag on, but it can be done. This ear I am going to try to start plants from seed and grow them in my greenhouse. I think the trinck is to have the plants large enough to make stalk during the still cool nights of early spring here. I know it wont winter over as the ground wont freeze, but to have fresh rhubarb will be worth the extra work and every gardner should have a special challenge.
Why are you worried about frost and freeze? Rhubarb grows great in the north and not so great in the south.
I just planted some (can't find it here normally) and will tell you how it does next year. I planted it next to some comfrey, so it's shaded. I believe down here the thing you need to worry about is the prolonged heat.
Here in the north the Rhubarb grows thick and heavy and most folks don't even harvest it. I have learned a few things about good crops of Rhubarb from some old timers here. #1. Don't plant them near pine trees as the acid from the pines stunt Rhubarb roots. # 2. Use a good manure type fertilizer mixed with mulch and black dirt. #3. Just before the ground freezes solid, cover the Rhubarb bed with a thick layer of rotted manure again. Horse snur works great for this as it will start cooking early and warm up the soil. #4. Thin out the Rhubarb patch every 4th year so they don't get root bound. It isn't the frost and cold that does in the Rhubarb but the dry heat. They like some shade at least part of the day.
I have been told that a hard frost will burn young rhubarb leaves. Rhubarb needs a dormant period caused by freezing of the soil. You don't get that in much of the south, thus the roots will not winter over, but die.
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!