Friday, May 17, 2013

Pumpkins and rhubarb

I needed the room so I went out and picked the last of my butternut pumpkins since the vines had died down. These vines started producing so late that I almost pulled them out before they produced their first flowers and some of the fruit didn't ripen in time for the frosts. I did get a few ripe ones but you can see that most of these still show a green tinge and stripes so they aren't ripe enough to store so I will take them to the market in a weeks time. They are fine for someone to cook in the next few weeks but they won't store for longer than that.

This morning I also went out to see which rhubarb plants needed to be divided. These are only young plants (grown from seed two years ago) so they shouldn't need dividing yet but some are really growing strongly and spreading well.
After looking over my couple of dozen plants I decided to only divide two of them. The rest can go for another year.

Here are two of the separated buds/crowns. I didn't really leave enough roots with these ones but they have all winter to recover. You can see how well grown they are, bigger than the picture shows.

I have 4 varieties in the ground - Victoria, Glaskins Perpetual, Paragon and Red Rover.

Victoria is a large, old variety with greenish leaf stems (contrary to popular belief, there is not much difference between the taste and sweetness of red and green stems). It dies down in winter.

Glaskins Perpetual is another old variety that doesn't die down in winter. It has thinner but longer stems that are sweet right up to late autumn. It's leaves can be very big and the stems come in a variety of hues from red, through pink to greenish. I have found this one to be the hardest to grow in my garden, the seedlings die off at the weakest excuse. It is always trying to send up seed stalks.

Paragon - This one doesn't stand out much, it just sits there producing its stems but not holding up a sign saying "Look at me". It is pretty average in all ways but the stems are nice and red, for those who prefer red stems, and it is consistent.

Red Rover - This is my own variety that is vigorous and produces well. It is a cross between Paragon and a commercial variety. The stems are bright red and it grows and bears prolifically. The plants I divided are this one. This one doesn't die down in winter.

If you want to know all about rhubarb check out this site: 

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