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Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds?

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Post  OhioGardener 8/20/2018, 9:22 am

We have lost a lot of our Rhubarb this year due to the crowns rotting from continuous rain all summer long. So, I'm thinking of making a few small raised beds to put the rhubarb in. I have found some 36"x1' galvanized fire rings on sale for $25, and it seems they would be perfect. The 3' diameter would give the rhubarb room to spread out, and the 1' height would keep the crown out of the wet ground.  The 3'x1' cylinder would hold 7 cu ft of soil mixture. To keep the rhubarb happy, I might mix sand in with the mixture.

Any thoughts on using the fire rings for raised beds?  Would rhubarb grow well in a media similar to Mel's mix?

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Post  sanderson 8/21/2018, 2:26 am

I don't grow rhubarb but I think they would work. They would be "supplemental" to the SFG. Very Happy

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Post  OhioGardener 8/22/2018, 9:36 am

My wife said I need to put the fire rings at the end of the raised beds so that it make exclamation points!  Ha!

Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Raised12

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Post  OhioGardener 8/23/2018, 6:21 pm

The fire rings are installed and filled with Modified Mel's Mix (4 cu ft each of my compost, Coir, and Vermiculite; 100 pounds of sand, and 5 pounds of Azomite), and the Rhubarb that was dying from being in standing water is planted in them. Don't know if the Rhubarb will survive, since this is not the right time of the year to transplant them, but they won't be any worse than they would have been with the crowns rotting from being in standing water. If they don't survive, I'll plant new crowns next year, since I know they'll do good in these 7 sq ft raised beds. I'm happy with the results, and the fire rings were on sale for $27 each so it wasn't too expensive a venture.


Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Imag3611

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Post  sanderson 8/24/2018, 3:09 am

They look good with the rectangle beds. I think they would also work for potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, etc. Nice.

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Post  trolleydriver 8/25/2018, 11:59 am

sanderson wrote:They look good with the rectangle beds.  I think they would also work for potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, etc.  Nice.
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Post  jimmy cee 8/25/2018, 10:57 pm

Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Img_0617
Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Img_1537
Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Img_1536
They will work, consider them as containers. Watering will need to be watched closely especially in dry time. Never mind the heat concern as there is none. My galvanized water trough this year is 6 x 2 x 2. Mix inside quickly dissipates the heat.  I use straw to mulch after cutting it with shears. Compost will definitely be needed often, a good mulch is necessary.
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Post  sanderson 8/26/2018, 4:21 am

Jimmy Green Thumb!

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Post  OhioGardener 5/13/2021, 1:23 pm

An update on growing Rhubarb in galvanized steel fire rings. This is the 3rd year for them, and it has been even more successful than I expected. The plants grew so well last year that I added a 3rd bed for this year. We harvested some stalks for a Rhubarb Crisp last weekend, and the plants already have new leaves replacing the ones that were pulled out.
Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Rhubar19

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Post  plantoid 5/13/2021, 4:54 pm

I just love the rings ......You spend all that money on keeping the rhubarbs feet dryish  , then sods law ... Suddenly you have to water it during a drought.  Laughing

 Rhubarb grows fantastically in MM so long as it's kept reasonably moist and it can drain down at last 18 inches if my former bed grown Rhubarb is any thing to go by . Like most crops having a consistent constant level of nutrients & moisture in the bed is paramount .

 My two rhubarb crowns produced 17 kg last season .. Looked at the price in a supermarket here in the UK a few weeks ago &; it was almost  $12 a pound . 
Over the years I've found that a very careful light feed with dried fish ,  blood & bone meal then watered in gently after harvesting.... making sure none went in the crooks of the stems worked very well . I also stuck to the ancient gardeners tip of leaving at least three small leafed sticks on the plant when harvesting .

 I've now enough crowns each  a year older apart to be able to rotate the four crowns to new non SFG ground after splitting them at the end of season 3 yr old crowns
 
 I also fed the crowns in early spring as soon as the heads poked out the MM ...with half a handful of dried pellets of chicken muck fertilizer then watered them for a few minutes with a light spray to get them breaking down .
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Post  OhioGardener 4/21/2022, 3:31 pm

The 3 Rhubarb plants in the fire rings continue to grow great, but the 3 that I have in ground in the BTE area of the garden not so much. The 3 in the fire rings are one Canada Red and two Victoria.  The three in the BTE garden all Glaskins Perpetual.

Since the Rhubarb plants don't do well in our heavy clay soil, and suffer from crown rot, I decided to move those 3 plants into fire rings like the others.  It is costly to set them up with the fire ring and 7 cu ft of soil for each plant, but it does give long term benefits.

The sticker shock came when I went to look for three more fire rings.  When I bought the original one back in 2018 they were $34.50 each. Today the least expensive ones I found were at Rural King for $49.99. Tractor Supply has them on sale for $55.99, with a regular price of $69.99.

Now I have decide if those Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb plants are worth $50 plus the cost of the new soilless mix.

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Post  OhioGardener 5/11/2022, 9:08 am

Finally bit the bullet and bought the fire rings, and moved the last 3 plants into them. I am glad I did. Very Happy 


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Post  sanderson 5/11/2022, 2:10 pm

Will the rhubarb expand and fill the rings?

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Post  OhioGardener 5/11/2022, 4:53 pm

sanderson wrote:Will the rhubarb expand and fill the rings?

Hopefully not.  They have to be divided every 6 years or so to prevent the root from dying on the inside and growing new crowns around the outside edge. If that is allowed to happen, the stalks and leaves start getting very small and not usable. I try to divide them about every 5 years to keep really healthy plants.

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Post  sanderson 5/11/2022, 8:18 pm

Is the extra room for the divides?

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Post  OhioGardener 5/11/2022, 8:33 pm

sanderson wrote:Is the extra room for the divides?

No, it is just for the plant's leaf spread.  A mature Rhubarb plant will be 3' to 4' wide and 3' to 4' tall.  So, once the plants start growing they will completely cover the raised bed they are in.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 5/11/2022, 10:39 pm

So 5 years ago I put my languishing Starkrimson Rhubarb from Stark Brother (of course) in the ground that I have.  It is hard pan clay.  It did nothing.  For years. 

Fast forward to 2 years ago; earlySpring 2020, dug up and put the same root into a 3” fire ring from TSC.  I always put cardboard on the bottom.  But that’s it.  

It is super huge.  I am cooking, giving away and chunking this thing…Love it!  But it loves MM!

Love rhubarb!


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 5/11/2022, 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Dates)
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Post  OhioGardener 5/12/2022, 8:35 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:It is super huge.  I am cooking, giving away and chunking this thing…Love it!  But it loves MM!

Ain't that the truth!  The three plants that I have in the fire rings for the third year are giving us huge stalks. We are freezing a lot of it for next winter.  The three plants I just transplanted to fire rings won't be ready for harvest until next year.

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Post  OhioGardener 5/12/2022, 6:57 pm

OhioGardener wrote:
sanderson wrote:Is the extra room for the divides?

No, it is just for the plant's leaf spread.  A mature Rhubarb plant will be 3' to 4' wide and 3' to 4' tall.  So, once the plants start growing they will completely cover the raised bed they are in.

This shows how the Rhubarb plant grows to cover the entire 3' diameter of the raised bed.  This plant was just harvested 4 days ago, and has already grown enough to almost cover the bed.
Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? 20220510

Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? 20220511

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Post  OhioGardener 6/12/2022, 10:12 am

Can't believe this Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb plant was just transplanted into this raised bed one month ago, on May 9th.  It has really grown since then.Galvanized Fire Ring for Rhubarb Raised Beds? Glaski12

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Post  OhioGardener 6/26/2022, 8:57 am

While out perusing the gardens this morning, I noticed that one of the Rhubarb plants has been invaded by Aphids.  So, it is time to get the Neem oil out and get ride of them.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/26/2022, 10:32 am

OhioGardener wrote:While out perusing the gardens this morning, I noticed that one of the Rhubarb plants has been invaded by Aphids.  So, it is time to get the Neem oil out and get ride of them.
My rhubarb looks terrible!  I pruned a bunch of dead-ish looking leaves off, and watered it.  I think it just got so hot so fast it is kind of struggling.  I didn’t notice any pests.
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Post  OhioGardener 6/26/2022, 10:55 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:My rhubarb looks terrible!  I pruned a bunch of dead-ish looking leaves off, and watered it.  I think it just got so hot so fast it is kind of struggling.  I didn’t notice any pests.

Yes, Rhubarb is a cool weather vegetable, and it hates hot weather. It especially hates it when the weather changes from the mild, cool, and wet spring weather to the high-90's for days on.  I've had to water the Rhubarb plants a couple times a week to keep them from wilting.  Interestingly, the Canada Red and the Glaskins Perpetual plants are doing fine, but the two Victoria plants are really suffering.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/26/2022, 11:05 pm

I think mine is Starkcrimsom.  It isn’t very hardy.  Well I will water it….I have not had to do this.   Thanks OG
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Post  OhioGardener 7/1/2022, 8:55 pm

Discovered a nice advantage of the 3' diameter fire rings for raising Rhubarb. We've had quite a dry spell, and it became necessary to water the Rhubarb plants. The nice thing about all of them being in the fire rings is that I can take the watering can and just walk around the circle of the fire ring and evenly water the plant all the way around. In no time at all the plants were all watered.   Very Happy

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