Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Gardening

I love rhubarb. One of my favorite memories from growing up is that my grandparents had a giant rhubarb plant in their backyard. I've always wanted to grow my own. Never mind that I live in the desert, and it gets too hot and dry here - so far my rhubarb has made it for two years. Next year, I'm going to try and harvest some stalks. It also looks interesting in my tubes in the spring/summer, with its big leaves spilling over the tube like this:

Rhubarb in tube - Late Spring/Early Summer
 However, in the winter, the rhubarb leaves die down, and I'm left with an empty tube. Which, considering they are smack-dab in the middle of the garden, isn't too good. So this year, I tried something new...
I tried both the "dinosaur" kale (Lacinato Kale), and the curly kale. I like the curly kale the best - it spills over the top of the tube, and looks all full and lush.
plus - I like to eat kale, and I don't have to wait for three years to eat it!
So that I'll remember this for next year: this is 5 plants, planted in a circle near the outside of the tube. That leaves the middle of tube free, and doesn't disturb the rhubarb. Normally, I don't water during the winter, but since there has been no rain, I've been running the irrigation every other day for 3 minutes (in the tubes). The curly kale has had no issues, while the Lacinato kale got eaten by something, and never really filled out.

Now, it will interesting to see what this looks like when the rhubarb comes back. I hope it comes back. It did try to bloom last year (definitely NOT a desert plant) but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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