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Question: 900-1013
I have a problem with my rhubarb; it starts out nice and big but after that it gets real thin. I water and use cow manure. It has good drainage. It is in full sun. Robby, Griswold CT

Mort's Answer:
If you are to have good rhubarb, you need a trench that is two feet wide by two feet deep to start. It is very important in areas that have a lot of ledge like southeast Connecticut. Good organic matter has to be supplemented with a high phosphorus nutrient. Bone meal is excellent. If you have met all the criteria, you can side dress with the bone meal now. This will give you stronger stems. I suspect the root of your problem may be you do not have enough depth in your trench.

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Question: 948-2213
I get too many flowers on my rhubarb the last two years and not enough good leaves. I have been applying manure every year for the last five. Any suggestions? Vicky, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
Plant that get too much phosphorus will give you plenty of flowers. Manure has only two percent nitrogen but it active ages other chemicals in the soil like the phosphorus. I would recommend that you stop using the manure for a few years and switch to a lawn fertilizer that has high nitrogen. If you apply some soluble now, you may be able to rescue this years crop. You may need to dig a new trench two feet deep by two feet wide in the long run. That is what the rhubarb is all about.

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