This past weekend certainly felt like spring in central Massachusetts. The yard is free of snow (for now…this is New England after all), so the chickens got a little time to stretch and scratch at the dirt. While they were at it, I took a peek at my perennials. Everything was still dormant- the strawberries, bee balm, oregano, lavender, thyme, rhubarb…oh wait.
Well, the rhubarb is awake. Last year my stalks were very slender, which means it is time to divide the roots. Since the dividing must happen before the plants are highly active I jumped right to it. I decided to not just replant the divisions, but to relocate them as the soil they are in is quite depleted. First, I had to find some ground that was thoroughly thawed. I decided to use the previous site of our strawberry bed. (I just remembered that I showed the planting of those strawberries in one of my first posts.)
First, I had to clear out the weeds from the old strawberry bed. Thankfully, the weeds were still fully dormant and came up easily. Next, I had to extract the rhubarb crowns from their current location. The roots on my two crowns were much more massive than I had anticipated. With a little finesse from a spade, I got them both up.
So, how to divide them? There are countless photos and videos on the internet that show confident gardeners dividing their rhubarb as easy as slicing a birthday cake. I am not that confident. With a big knife, I managed to break them up. It looked the last scene of a vegetable horror film when I was done.
Each piece had some root and some top buds, which I understand is the important thing. I dug nine deep divots and tucked in my nine newly divided crowns.
There she is, looking cozy in her new bed of rich soil. I got a big lift from doing garden stuff this weekend. This winter was so gray and dreary, seeing my rhubarb up and growing really felt good. What has been waking up in your garden? What are you still waiting for? Share in the comments!