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Rhubarb - container grown???

 
pollinator
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Has anyone grown rhubarb long-term in containers? I have limited bed space but probably next year our container grown blueberries and raspberries will go into a bed we've been developing for them. I'd like to try growing rhubarb in a few of them. The issue is, hot summers can be brutal to containers. Additionally, they would be out in the elements and subject to freezing above ground in the winter. So, has anyone done this?
 
gardener
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The taproot on a rhubarb is ridiculously long. I moved one last year that was only a few years old and it was as big around as my leg at the top and over 8 foot long when it broke.
 
pollinator
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The freezing won't bother it but you would need a truly huge container, like IBC sized, rhubarb plants are massive and require a huge amount of water, I think it would be very hard to keep one happy in a pot.

That is a rhubarb plant 2 years after being transplanted, and a 45lb dog for scale.

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echo minarosa
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Bigger roots than I thought. We grew it once at my folks' house a few decades ago. I don't remember digging it out but it just sort of vanished one year. A few years later they grew a small-stemmed variety but it also faded out after 3 years or so. Space is at a premium though. Back to the drawing board!
 
pollinator
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Would you have room to put rhubarb in other places, like in your flower garden?  They don't need to be near other rhubarb, and look pretty cool in a prehistoric way.  They shade out weeds underneath them nicely, too.  Because they get pretty big, you only need a few or you'll be drowning in rhubarb.

Downside:  In winter, everything rots down and looks not great.
 
echo minarosa
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Not really. The non food beds are crammed to overflowing with plants for pollinators and other critters. I might be able to carve something out after a stump finishes decaying. It is a holly stump and even after two years is sending up sprouts. I've ringed the stump but it keeps flipping me the bird! I'm persistent and patient.
 
pollinator
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote: Because they get pretty big, you only need a few or you'll be drowning in rhubarb.



You clearly need to be introduced to the joy of rhubarb vodka. I would happily expand my rhubarb patch, if the rest of the family wouldn't protest so much.

Recipe - tender stems of forced rhubarb, chopped into chunks. Vodka. Sugar. Leave to soak for a month or so, then strain the liquid off.

Save the remaining soaked stems for the most heavenly boozy rhubarb pudding ever.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Michael Cox wrote:

Morfydd St. Clair wrote: Because they get pretty big, you only need a few or you'll be drowning in rhubarb.



You clearly need to be introduced to the joy of rhubarb vodka. I would happily expand my rhubarb patch, if the rest of the family wouldn't protest so much.

Recipe - tender stems of forced rhubarb, chopped into chunks. Vodka. Sugar. Leave to soak for a month or so, then strain the liquid off.

Save the remaining soaked stems for the most heavenly boozy rhubarb pudding ever.



Ah, I've been drinking my rhubarb in Rhubarb 75s with a symple syrup per NWEdible:  http://nwedible.com/the-rhubarb-75/ which also leaves a nice (tho non-alcoholic) mush behind.

But your solution sounds like less work!
 
pollinator
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I think rhubarb would thrive in a half barrel. Anything less is optimistic. Unless you prune off the tastiest shoots every week, and why not.

The beautiful part is you can experiment for free. Just carve a quarter section of root out of somebody else's rhubarb plant.
 
echo minarosa
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I don't know anyone with rhubarb planted here. I can get Victoria fairly inexpensively though.
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