Why is My Rhubarb
Spindly and Thin?

... my rhubarb patch is not doing well. I've had it for 20 plus years.  It seems like it is getting more spindly every year ...


Question:

 ... my rhubarb patch is not doing well.  I've had if for 20 plus years.  It seems like it is getting more spindly every year.  I put horse manure on it every other year.  I do notice slug damage. Is it just getting old and needs to be moved?


Spindly Thin Scrawny Rhubarb

Answer:

 ... Sorry to hear that your rhubarb plants are not seeming to thrive this year!

Thin, spindly or scrawny rhubarb stalks are not fun ;)

Seems like you are doing the right thing, that is adding manure to improve the soil.

You may want to try adding an all-purpose fertilizer of 10-10-10 instead though, just to ensure all the various nutrients are included in the feeding of the rhubarb plants.

I use a light feeding of granular 10-10-10 fertilizer in the early Spring and again in the Fall.

And, yes, it may be time to divide the rhubarb plants.

Unless the slug damage is very extensive, I personally do not think that this is the reason for the spindly stalks.

Here is more information about how to control slugs:

https://www.rhubarb-central.com/how-to-get-rid-of-slugs.html

Here are easy-to-follow instructions at Rhubarb-Central.com for how to divide rhubarb:

https://www.rhubarb-central.com/divide-rhubarb-crowns-rhizomes-roots.html

AND

https://www.rhubarb-central.com/transplanting-rhubarb.html

I hope this helps a bit.

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Reply:

Just a short note to let you know your info last year helped tremendously with my rhubarb harvest.  

The four things I did differently:

1.  Cleaned /removed dying leaves and stalks.

2.  Put down snail /slug killer.

3.  Fertilized with 10-10-10.

4.  Watered when needed.

And just those four things made all the difference.

I never remember my Mom doing anything to her rhubarb patch and we always seemed to have a decent enough crop. 

Guess I just never really fussed over my rhubarb and now I know it just needs a little tender loving care.

Thanks again for putting me on the right track for a better rhubarb harvest.




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