Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rhubarb Critter Attack

Spring is in the air. Warmer weather brings out new green shoots, and hungry critters awakening from the winter doldrums. Last fall I cut back my rhubarb that grows in a pot on the transition float. I covered the crown with crumpled newspaper and extra soil.

My goal was to help the roots survive freezing frosts. It's worked for two years. But when I got back to the cabin last month, a hungry critter had dug into the pot and removed the mulch. This particular critter must have been looking for grubs because the roots didn't seem to be damaged.

I replaced the newspaper and soil and added a critter deterrent. Now all I have to do is hope that the rhubarb plant will sprout, and that I get back to the cabin before it reaches the top of it's new protective cage.  What methods do you use to deter critters?

Update: This last trip to the cabin, I thought the critter had been back. From the deck, I could see newspaper pushed up again. But when I got out there, it was the rhubarb plant sprouting. Yea! It made it through another winter in it's small pot. Now all I need is some strawberries and we are in business. -- Margy


  1. We had the weirdest hail storm last night that deposited 1/2 an inch of hail, definitely wasn't snow. Woke up this morning to clear sunshine but cold so the hail is still on the ground. Fortunately it didn't kill any of my little bushes but it would have been hard on some the Spring flowers out and about. You probably have to contend with different creatures than most gardeners. I wonder if maybe it was a rat?

  2. It's pretty hard to kill rhubarb, so I'm guessing your roots will sprout.
    When we got our dog Lindy, she had been living wild for some time, and wanted to eat everything in sight. One day I saw her prancing around the yard with a wilted stalk of rhubarb, plus leaf, in her mouth.
    I immediately bought large cement slabs to put over the rhubarb, so she wouldn't poison her silly dog self with the leaves.
    One patch of rhubarb was successfully squashed, but the other sent out new growth from under the cement. Who knew?

  3. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Hope your rhubarb survives. I have wooden plant tables my husband build and I keep all the pots up on them so the rabbits don't eat my veggies.

  4. OK, might be gross, but my husband pees around the perimeter of the garden...human urine is supposed to be a great deterrent!

  5. something that eats rhubarb. now that's one tough, or desperate critter. Ours got choked out with nettles this year. I'm waiting to see if it'll recover from the root.


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy