When Jim’s parents house was going on the market several years back, Jim wanted to transplant some of the rhubarb from that yard to ours. The problem was where to put it. Jim thought he’d like rhubarb planted along side the barn, but that barn was quickly reaching the end of its lifespan. Wisely, he decided that the rhubarb shouldn’t be planted next to the old barn because it would surely die a horrible death in the creation of the new barn.
Rhubarb, however, is a decidedly hardly plant. Although rhubarb is fairly easy to transplant (so it’s good for sharing), it can be difficult to eliminate from the original spot. So we didn’t want to plant it in the ground and then attempt to move the rhubarb to the new spot after a couple years.
Jim came up with the idea of planting the rhubarb in a container for the interim. I must admit that I was a little skeptical about whether rhubarb would do well in a container, but it turns out that I was wrong. The container rhubarb didn’t get as tall or as plentiful as rhubarb in the ground, the stalks were thinner overall, and it never went to seed at the end of the season. Still we managed to get enough rhubarb each year for a pie or two. Indeed, container rhubarb proved to be happy rhubarb.
This spring, with the new barn is finished and the new asparagus bed established, we were ready to give the rhubarb a permanent new home in the ground. Jim planted four clumps along the south side of the new barn. I do believe that the rhubarb stalks are thriving in their new bed. I’ve read some advice which suggested waiting a year before harvesting any rhubarb, but I don’t think we’ll be following that. We’re already hungry for rhubarb pie and our experience has shown that rhubarb is nothing short of hardy.