Taiji
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Bought a rhubarb crown

Am anxious to set out a rhubarb crown I bought. Has anyone had experience as to what critters (if any) like to dine on it? Around here, the "pests" are deer, rabbits, ground and rock squirrels, pack rats, and the biggie, javelina. They don't touch iris, narcissus, or pungent herbs like rosemary. All my other stuff is behind a high fence, but don't want to use up the space in the enclosure if I don't have to! Wonder if it's safe to put rhubarb out in the open since it's kind of acidic?
Maybe it's safe out there unprotected? Thx. :?:

Mr green
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

I have deer in my garden, rabbits as well and squirrels even tho they are a smaller kind than yours. My rhubarb is never touched by anything. I never feed it anything. Its been standing for atleast 20years.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished - Lao Tzu

Taiji
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

Thx Mr. Green.
That's good to know! Since I posed that question, I read on the internet that rhubarb leaves are poisonous. Maybe that explains it. One gardener actually said she spreads the leaves around her garden to repel pests. Don't know If that would work or not.

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jal_ut
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

I have not had problems with critters bothering the rhubarb. I have one clump, and just planted 3 more a week ago. Will see how these new ones do?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

tomc
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

Taiji, unless you live at a high elevation, a cool weather buckwheat family plant like rhubarb is probably only going to be an annual in most of Arizona.

Rhubarbs ideal USDA zones are 4,5,6.

Southern growers start their rhubarb from seed the last day of August (in shade) and grow them through the winter and harvest late in the spring. In a heavily amended bed.

I dunno if armadillo or javelina will eat rhubarb. Not much in my neck of the woods does (eat it).
Think like a tree
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Taiji
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

Thanks for the responses. I do live at 5000' here in AZ. I know rhubarb does better in those colder zones, or maybe it needs the light of the higher latitudes too. I have seen some plants around here, but must admit that it is not the most common of crops. We're probably right on the transition zone where it may grow, but with lots of TLC.
I'm not really sure what my agricultural zone is here. I live in the central mtns./central basins of AZ. I think you could drive 2 miles down the road and be in a different zone! As Jal-ut can probably attest to, vegetation out west is so dramatically affected by an elevation change.
Originally I'm from West Virginia, and rhubarb grew there wonderfully. But then, so did everything!

BTW, I didn't know rhubarb was a related to buckwheat. (that's big in WV too!)

Mr green
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

I live in the north but i don't have mine in full sun the whole day and it really thrives. I never harvested it fully, it dies back naturally were the old leaves and branches serves as mulch for the next season. I have never added fert to it and still going strong.

If you want increased harvesting period you wanna cut off the flowers to insure more leaves to grow instead.

Rhubarb contains oxalic acid ,mostly in the leaves but is said to have some in the stalks/stems as well, therefor some recommend that you don't eat to much of it. But i havnt found any problems personally and Swiss chard, spinach the amarant family etc etc has it as well. I think theres a great difference with pure oxalic acid (that are used in most tests) And natural occuring oxalic acid in the plants they may be bound with other molecules and there by harmless. Like natural spring water may contain flouride but its bound toghether witch calcium and passes threw the system (unlike pure added fluride in manmade systems. Just my 5 cents.

I don't mean you should eat the rhubarb leafes, they are exellent to cover ground with as mulch so use them for that.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished - Lao Tzu

tomc
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

There are expandable USDA maps. http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Might be one.
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Taiji
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Re: Bought a rhubarb crown

That's an interesting site. According to my zip code, I'm in zone 7b, which means average extreme low temp is from 5 to 10 degrees. That rarely happens here, so I think zone 8a is probably a little more accurate, 10 to 15 degrees F as an average extreme minimum, at least in recent years! Maybe even zone 8b. But, interesting site, thanks for the info!

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