Rhubarb for the Home Garden

Rhubarb may be a perennial crop, which suggests it comes back year after year without replanting. It thrives in temperate climates; it needs winter temperatures below 40 degrees F and summer temperatures averaging 75 degrees or lower. The leafstalks of rhubarb are edible, but the leaves contain ethanedioic acid and may be poisonous.

RHUBARB VARIETIES

Sometimes the simplest choice for your garden maybe a piece of the rhubarb that’s growing successfully in your neighbor’s garden. Rhubarb is often red, green, or speckled. Some are sweeter than others. Popular varieties include Canada Red, cerise, Valentine, and Victoria.

RHUBARB PLANTING AND CARE

Rhubarb may be a very forgiving plant; it’ll grow and produce is less-than-ideal conditions. For best results choose a sunny location with well-drained fertile soil high in organic matter.

Rhubarb is planted as crowns or divisions. most of the people who grow rhubarb are happy to offer away pieces of their plants, but you’ll also buy rhubarb plants from nurseries and garden centers. Rhubarb is best planted dormant, either in spring or fall.

Because they’re perennials, rhubarb should be planted during a place where they will remain, like at the sting of the garden or during a separate bed. Remove weeds from the world where you would like to plant your rhubarb. Prepare one sq yd of space for every plant by loosening the soil to about one foot down and adding four inches of compost or well-rotted manure.

Cover the crowns of the rhubarb plants with only one or two inches of soil, then tamp the soil down around the roots and water well.

Mulch around the plants after they begin growing and water well during dry weather—an occasional deep watering is best than frequent shallow watering. An annual application of organic high in phosphorus and potassium will help the plants grow vigorously from year to year.

RHUBARB PESTS AND DISEASES

Rhubarb may be a relatively pest-free crop within the home garden. Good growing conditions and sanitation are the keys to keeping rhubarb healthy.

RHUBARB HARVESTING

To give your plants time to urge established, don’t harvest any stems the primary year and just a couple of the second year. then, you’ll harvest up to one-third of the leafstalks once they are firm and crisp–between eight and fifteen inches long. you’ll twist the stalks off at the bottom or cut them with a knife. When the plants start producing thin stalks it’s time to prevent harvesting for the season.

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