It would be nice -- last year the chipmunks wiped out most of the plants just as they started to sprout, and the year before that I think it was drought. Or maybe poor soil. We have one area in the garden where it seems like no matter what we do to it -- compost worked in, commercial fertilizer, treatments to correct the pH, you name it -- nothing wants to grow particularly well. I'm thinking seriously about marking that space off, planting clover there, and letting it stay fallow for a couple years.
I also finally got my baby rhubarb plants set out. Last summer I saved a lot of rhubarb seeds just for the heck of it. You know, almost no one grows rhubarb from seed. The usual method is to divide up an existing clump. That's how all of our rhubarb wound up where it is. We either transplanted existing rhubarb or bought live plants. But when one of the rhubarb plants bloomed last year, I decided to let it go all the way. Usually we cut the flower stalks off, the theory being that you always want the plant to put its energy into its roots and not into seeding, but last year I ignored the nascent stalks, let them flower and seeds form, and then bagged a bunch of the seeds.
Back in May, I planted about a dozen seeds in peat pots with two seeds to a pot. Of all the stuff I started from seed, the rhubarb took the longest to sprout and had the lowest germination rate: only two pots had any seedlings appear. In contrast, when I started zucchini, the rate was 6 out of 6. This helps explain why although the rhubarb plants will have a gazillion seeds, all of which look like they'd travel on the wind pretty good, a person doesn't look around and see our yard being taken over by rhubarb the way oregano and chives have overrun everything (every time we mow the lawn by the Woman Cave I find myself craving Italian food).
|Oregano in bloom. Bees love it.|
In any case, there was an empty space in our row of rhubarb so yesterday I planted the two little tiny baby rhubarb plants in that area. Rain was predicted so I figured it would be good to get them in the ground before it rained, not after. I put a marker by each so we won't accidentally smother them when we mulch around the other plants. Now all I have to do is hope they survive. Because we have both kinds of rhubarb in the garden -- red and green -- and both kinds flowered, I'm a little curious to see what the plants end up being. With cross pollination, either is possible.