I have been putting off getting to grips with the garden for some time, and the dire weather we have been having has been a brilliant excuse. However, the arrival of some Rhubarb crowns from Thompson and Morgan, and some sunshine, convinced me, the King, and Prima to get our wellies on (nothing would part Secundus from his Lego this morning).
An anonymous shrub has sprung up this past eighteen months in the corner of one of the raised beds and has overpowered the nearby rowan sapling. We have not been able to identify the shrub, and it has neither flowered nor fruited; today, we decided, it had to go. That was the King's job, with saw and spade. Once it had been cleared out, a lot more light was let in to that side of the garden.
Prima weeded around the strawberry plants and was happy to see lots of worms in the soil, which she enjoyed "rescuing" and placing in her "worm hospital", while I harvested the last of the courgettes and pulled up the old plants for the composter.
I found the sunniest position I could for the "Champagne" rhubarb crowns, cleared all weeds, and dug in some well rotted compost since I didn't have any stable manure. Reading the leaflet Thompson and Morgan sent me with my crowns, I noted not to pull any "sticks" until the following year after planting.
I didn't go online until writing this blog post and at that point I saw that their website advises to set the budded pieces so that the top of the crown sits 3cm (1") below soil level and allow a spacing of 75cm (30") between plants (unfortunately this wasn't included in the leaflet so I may have put them too close together). If the weather is alright tomorrow, perhaps I should dig up the second crown and move it further away. There is also a section on rhubarb aftercare on the website, which I must take note of during the first year and when harvesting in April or June of the second year (fingers crossed).