Follow These 15 Steps to Grow Rhubarb

Follow These 15 Steps to Grow Rhubarb

Growing rhubarb is a rewarding and relatively easy process. Follow these 15 steps to cultivate your own rhubarb patch:

1. Choose the Right Location: Select a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Rhubarb prefers at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

2. Timing: Plant rhubarb crowns (dormant roots) in early spring or late fall when the soil is workable and temperatures are cooler.

3. Purchase Healthy Crowns: Buy high-quality rhubarb crowns from a reputable nursery or garden center.

4. Prepare the Soil: Before planting, enrich the soil with well-rotted compost or aged manure to improve fertility and drainage.

5. Planting Rhubarb Crowns:

Dig a hole about 1-2 feet deep and wide enough to accommodate the rhubarb crown.
Place the crown in the hole with the buds facing up, and cover it with 2-3 inches of soil.
6. Spacing: Plant each rhubarb crown at least 3-4 feet apart to allow sufficient space for its spread.

7. Watering: Water the newly planted crowns thoroughly to help them establish roots.

8. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch (straw, wood chips) around the plants to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

9. Avoid Harvesting in the First Year: Allow the rhubarb plant to establish itself during the first year and refrain from harvesting any stalks.

10. Limited Harvest in the Second Year: In the second year, you can harvest a few stalks, but avoid taking more than a third of the plant to maintain its strength.

11. Proper Harvesting:

When the stalks are about 10-15 inches long, grasp one firmly at the base, then pull and twist it away from the crown.
Always leave a few stalks on the plant to continue photosynthesis and support future growth.
12. Regular Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during hot and dry periods.

13. Fertilizing:

In early spring, apply a balanced fertilizer or compost around the plant.
Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizers, as rhubarb prefers a balanced nutrient supply.
14. Remove Flower Stalks: If the plant produces flower stalks, promptly cut them off to direct energy back into leaf and stalk growth.

15. Winter Care: Before winter, cut back the rhubarb stalks to ground level. Apply a thick layer of mulch around the crown to protect it from freezing temperatures.

By following these steps, you’ll have a thriving rhubarb patch that can provide delicious stalks for years to come. Rhubarb is a perennial plant, so with proper care, it will keep coming back season after season. Enjoy your harvest and the delightful desserts you can make with this versatile vegetable!