Transplanting Rhubarb is done to increase the size of your rhubarb garden by propagating your rhubarb plants.
Rhubarb may also need to be divided to keep the plants healthy as they become older.
Here is information about WHEN and HOW to divide rhubarb plants.
The propagation of rhubarb plants to increase the size of your rhubarb garden involves the division of the crown and root system and the subsequent rhubarb transplanting. This can be done by propagating from 4 to 5 year old crowns.
Although transplanting rhubarb can be performed in the spring or fall, I recommend early spring as the best time to transplant rhubarb.
Some gardeners prefer the autumn for transplanting because the plants are dormant.
Either time of year that you choose, the actual propagation method for transplanting rhubarb is the same.
In early spring, just when plants begin to come out of dormancy is the ideal time to divide them.
At this time early growth is just beginning on the rhubarb plants, so you can easily see where best to divide the root mass.
In June of the preceding year, when plants are growing vigorously, decide which plants you wish to use for propagation and transplanting the following spring.
Choose plants which are healthy, and disease and pest free.
The rhubarb plants that are to be divided, should be dug up in early spring, (or fall), and the clumps divided into sections by cutting them with a spade, (be careful not to damage the crown), so that each section has a portion of both the root and crown of the original plant.
Each section should contain at least 2 or 3 buds, or "eyes", and a good section of root.
The larger the size of the crown, the quicker the new planting will become established.
After digging up and dividing the crown and root clumps, dig a hole, slightly larger than the divided plant ready for transplanting, and place the crown in the hole, (filled with water), with its roots facing downwards.
The top of the crown should be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches below the soil surface.
Water regularly so that the root pieces do not dry out, and protect from any possible freezing conditions.
Eventually, rhubarb clumps become too large and the buds become crowded. This results in smaller leaf stalks and indicates that it is time to divide your rhubarb plants to keep your rhubarb garden healthy and provide you with the best quality and amount of rhubarb harvest.
Although rhubarb patches of 15 years or more will often still produce a good rhubarb harvest, the best rhubarb yield will come from patches that are about 10 years or younger.
To keep rhubarb healthy it is best to divide the plants about every 5 to 6 years in early spring, when the plant is just coming out of dormancy.
It is advisable to divide only a few rhubarb plants a season, so as to maintain an adequate rhubarb harvest with the remaining established plants.
Divide the plants as above, and transplant the rhubarb with the cut sections, or discarding excess cuttings.
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