Everything You Need to Know About Growing Rhubarb From Planting To Harvesting
Growing rhubarb is
high on my gardening agenda because I love rhubarb pie and luckily for
me- this is one of the easiest dessert plants to grow in the
much sun as possible. You'll know if you're growing it in too
much shade because the leaves will be small and the stalks
Generally a south or
west side of the house will work the best.
soil. This plant thrives on a well-drained, rich in organic
matter, excellent soil. If you try to grow it on clay or
sandy crud, you'll find your stalks will be thin and the leaves small.
is a heavy feeder. Use at least two -three shovels of
composted manure or garden compost on each plant every
spring. It also produces better with compost (composted
manure) as it loves the organic matter and even moisture this
promotes. If you're underfeeding, the leaves will be (you
guessed it) small and the stalks thin.
plant thrives on even moisture levels. If you flood it and
then dry it out or let it go bone dry during the summer months, then...
(see above for symptoms of poor growing) :-)
is good for growing rhubarb as it evens out the moisture levels.
was always taught to cut off seeding stems as this "takes
away" from the strength of the root. I'm not sure
this is true but I continue to do it for the tradition of it (my
grandfather told me to do this so who am I to ignore him). It
doesn't seem to hurt the plant in any way other than I don't get
seeds. I note if you do get seeds, treat them exactly like a
perennial seed. (I've started ornamental rhubarb seed easily).
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are two schools of though about this. The first is that you
pull up the stalk, taking the outer sections of the bottom of the stalk
with you. The second is that you cut the stalk off.
prefer the pull the stalk off as it doesn't leave anything behind to
rot. Pull straight up and you'll find the leaf and stalk will
come away from the root with no damage at all in young stems.
In year one: Do not harvest.
In year two: Harvest for two weeks and then the plant alone for the rest of the
summer. (except for watering and feeding).
In year three: harvest all season but leave at least 60% of the leaves to continue feeding the plant.
is the time-honored method and taking a chunk of the plant in the fall
is the best time to move these plants. Get an
"eye" (pointed part) and a chunk of the mother root
and you're good.
They can also be
moved in the spring but I've always had better fortune in the fall.
can also start them from seed although it's a ton easier to do them by division
rhubarb is one of the delights of the spring pie-garden.
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Rhubarb plants - don't grow from seed
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