Starting Rhurbarb From Seed & Lawn Mushrooms

Question:

 How would I go about growing Rhubarb from seed?

Answer:

  • It’s not that difficult, but this is not an ideal time to germinate Rhubarb seed.
    • The days are getting shorter and the nights colder and the growing season is quickly coming to an end. So, I’d wait until February to germinate the seed.
  •  The seed should be an open-pollinated variety as they retain the same characteristics as their parents. With hybrid varieties, the characteristics change because of genetic.
    • Also, Rhubarb started from seed takes a year longer to produce than those planted from division or root clumps
  •  The seed can be sown in individual pots or a flat of commercial potting soil
    • . I’d pre-moisten the soil before planting. To speed up germination, soak the seed in water for a couple of hours before sowing. This helps break down the large paper like shell that surround the seed.
    • Planting them in peat pots rather than plastic is recommended as the root ball isn’t disturbed when transplanting. Two to three seeds per pot is the norm. Also, it’s recommended to place the pots on a heating mat.
      • The bottom heat increases the germination rate.
    •  If you start your seedlings in a flat, the seedlings are transplanted into three or four-inch pots when they’re one to two inches tall. Starting them in a pot will eliminate this step.
    • The seedlings are ready for the open ground in about twelve weeks. For the average family of four, three to four plants will be plenty.
    • You should pick a location that gets a half a day of sun preferably morning sun and spaces the plants three feet apart.
  •  The first year after planting allow the stalks to grow and do not harvest. I would pick a small crop the second year. The clumps are divided every four years or when the diameter of the stalks starts to thin. Dividing Rhubarb is done during the winter months. Also, only the stems are edible as the leaves are poisonous if ingested.

Question:

We have mushrooms coming up in our lawn. We have been digging them up; however, no sooner than we remove them, then a new crop emerges. Most of them are white, but we’re also getting some patchess of brown mushrooms.  Is there anything we can do to prevent them from emerging each year?

Answer:

  • We would typically find mushrooms growing in turf where it is continuously moist. It could be on the shady side of a lawn or where water drains after watering.
  • There are no fungicides that will eradicate the problem.
    • They only control the current ones and are ineffective in preventing them from returning. Your only solution is to dry the area out between watering, but that may not be practical depending on the set up of your sprinkler system.
    • An sprinkler system that waters both a sunny and shady area on the same valve is problematical. The other option is to manually remove them or mow them off.
  •  Unfortunately, with the rainy season about to begin the problem is not going to go away anytime soon.