Rhubarb

Asked June 11, 2013, 3:38 PM EDT

Having a difficult time getting a good crop of rhubarb. We have a sandy soil in nw MI, near Cadillac. Do I, and when do I put some kind of material on the plants I have left?

Wexford County Michigan

1 Response

Rhubarb should do quite well in your area from a climate standpoint. The reason you may be having difficulty is due to your sandy soil. Fortunately a few easy changes may be all you need. Rhubarb likes consistent moisture and fertilizer and with sandy soil it is often "feast or famine". Sand does not hang onto nutrients or water for very long so continued attention to both is needed. Water more frequently but not too long at one time. This will keep the root area moist and minimize nutrient leaching. A good layer of organic mulch will also help keep in moisture and minimize weeds. Also spread nutrient applications out over three or four applications - don't just fertilize once in the spring.

Go to:
http://migarden.msu.edu/uploads/files/e1577.pdf
http://nwrec.hort.oregonstate.edu/rhubarb.html