RESCUING THE RHUBARB PATCH BEFORE MANURING – 2nd wk in January 2015

Our idealistic first year here in Tacumshin, Co. Wexford saw us plant 18 rhubarb stools. We had great hopes that the large characteristic rhubarb leaves would block out light and keep competing weed growth under control. How wrong we were! For a start, the wind here near the coast flapped the rhubarb around so much that it did not thrive.

Having been taught a lesson by nature, we erected an artificial wind break. In due course, trees and hedging will create natural shelter, we hope. As you can imagine, the weeds grew very happily in the rhubarb patch. Weeding the patch was a delicate matter as we had to avoid damaging the hidden buds on the rhubarb stools. So we chose to simply rip up the weed growth with our gloved hands, no trowels or hoes this time around.

Anyway, the patch is now recognisable as a rhubarb patch again. We have spread some well-rotted manure between the rhubarb stools. We may further mulch between the plants with thick straw or plastic. Vigilance

Áine taking a breather from hand weeding the rhubarb patch, while Stocaí Bána observes proceedings from the wheelbarrow.

Áine taking a breather from hand weeding the rhubarb patch, while Stocaí Bána observes proceedings from the wheelbarrow.

seems to be the name of the game in keeping weeds under control.

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