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Carolina Gardening: Rhubarb in zone 8a

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moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

February 14, 2012
2:26 AM

Post #9005966

Has anyone ever planted rhubarb in zone 8a, and it has grown successfully? We planted 5 last spring...they held out all summer ...only losing the smallest ones. By November, the most robust rhubarb plant was still hanging in there. Right at that first freeze, all the leaves died off. So far, I have not been able to detect any new shoots. Now, I know rhubarb requires some extensive deep cold temps ...20F and under...
I just wouldn't have thought that the first freeze would have killed it completely.

It was just an experiment. DH's father asked if we could try to grow some for him. The roots were brought down here from Ohio.
scbuttercup
(Judy) Simpsonville, SC
(Zone 8a)

February 14, 2012
3:55 PM

Post #9006859


Why wouldn't it grow in 8a? I live in 8a also but never cared to grow rhubarb, I just imagined since it is an aggressive grower in Buffalo (my old home) then it would grow anywhere. So it needs cold temperatures?
moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

February 15, 2012
1:32 AM

Post #9007245

I think it does. I did alot of research on it before it got here. Needs deep cold temps to restart.
StonoRiver
Johns Island, SC

February 15, 2012
7:17 PM

Post #9008283

I've tried to grow it in both NC and SC without success over 25 years. I finally gave it up as one of "those things that just won't grow here"...
moxies_garden
Batesburg, SC
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2012
6:38 AM

Post #9008628

Well, there ya go. I appreciate you sharing your experience StonoRiver. It didn't work for us either.
StonoRiver
Johns Island, SC

February 23, 2012
7:57 PM

Post #9017771

A couple of other things I've struggled with here in the deep south, moxies-g; one of them is Asparagus---all instructions I've read about these things say "plant them deep" (12-18"), so I did. And they never amounted to a hill of beans. So I'm doing my 3rd (and final) try with these puppies, only I'm going to plant them much shallower than they do up north. I KNOW they can be grown successfully here in the south, because some guy out on John's Island has produced a commercial crop for years. Wouldn't share his secret though... Got 20 new roots in the mail this morning, and they'll go in the ground tomorrow. At 6" down. My theory is, the roots need to "get cold" for some time during the "rest" period. In 22 years here in Charleston, I've never recorded a soil temp 6" deep lower than 52. Think Aparagus might like it a little chillier than that, so by planting them shallower, I may be able to make them happy. It's a "Speriment"...but I also think the same dynamic applies to Horse Radish...and I'll try that next year.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

February 24, 2012
4:20 AM

Post #9017961

Good catch, I think you are on to something there.
melsalz
Mooresville, NC
(Zone 7b)

February 24, 2012
6:14 AM

Post #9018086

Stono, I've been successfully growing asparagus for the past 8-9 years. I've even started another patch from seed. I do get colder temps than you, but full sun is a requirement. I don't recall planting so deep, of course it has been 8 years. I do remember creating a mound, so that the roots went deeper than the crown. When you say they "never amounted to a hill of beans" Asparagus takes time before you can harvest. I started out with 3 year old crowns. The stalks I got the first year or two were skinny. Your supposed to let them go and grow, no picking. 3rd year I was able to start picking but only for the first 2 weeks, then I let them grow. Now I can pick for up to 2 months. They grow so fast I have to pick daily, eventually we get pretty tired of asparagus. Last year I pickled several pints. This year I plan on vacuum packing some to freeze. Cream of asparagus soup is another favorite here.

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