Rhubarb is an easy plant to grow and produces tasty stalks. It’s a heavy feeder, so it needs soil rich in organic matter and well-cultivated and mulched.
Rhubarb can be grown as a perennial in the ground or in containers. In the ground, it grows best in full sun. It also likes a soil with good drainage.
Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that grows well in most soil types and will produce a good crop when cared for. Before planting, clear away any weeds and prepare the soil thoroughly, adding lots of well-rotted manure or nutrient-rich compost to enrich the area.
Plant rhubarb crowns as early in the spring as possible, or as potted rooted plants in late spring. Space crowns at least 36 inches apart and position them so that the tip of the crown sits about an inch below the soil surface.
Rhubarbs are a great choice for growing in containers, as they can thrive in even the most difficult conditions. Make sure the container has adequate drainage and that you water regularly during dry periods to keep the soil slightly moist.
One of the best things you can do for your rhubarb plants is fertilize them. Whether you use a 10-10-10 or other type of fertilizer, apply it in early spring.
Fertilizing will ensure the plant grows well and continues producing stalks. Broadcast a handful of fertilizer around the base of the plant and water it in well.
The most important thing to remember when fertilizing your rhubarbs is to make sure that the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer are balanced correctly. The N-P-K ratio is a handy tool to use to determine how much of each nutrient is in a fertilizer.
It’s also a good idea to fertilize your rhubarb twice a year – once in the spring with an all-purpose fertilizer and again in fall with blood meal or other phosphorus-rich fertilizer. This is to help the rhubarb establish its roots so it can survive winter.
Rhubarbs are easy to care for and can grow well in most areas. They require cool weather and a rich soil, and they like to be mulched to conserve moisture and keep the weeds under control.
A common problem is crown rot, caused by various types of fungi or bacteria that attack the plant. They cause the leaves and stems to rot, which may lead to death of the plant.
In the spring, cut back a third of the mature stalks on each plant to encourage new growth. The rest can be left to recover by themselves.
Once the stalks are about 10 inches long, they can be harvested. The stalks will fall off easily in your hand, or use a sharp knife to cut them off at the base.
Rhubarb is a dependable vegetable for gardeners who understand when to harvest it and how to care for the plant. This edible rhubarb plant produces stalks of tender stems that can be used in salads, stews and even pie.
Newly planted rhubarbs should be harvested sparingly in the spring to ensure the plants have plenty of energy to grow the next year. In the summer, however, it is a good idea to harvest a small amount of rhubarb, as this helps the plant store up energy for the winter.
To harvest, firmly grasp the base of the stalk near the bottom with your hand and twist it away. Usually, the stalk will come free easily. If it doesn’t, use a clean and sharp knife to cut it at the base.