Rhubarb plants provide pink stalks that are sweet and perfect for desserts, jams, jellies and more. You can grow your own rhubarb in your garden, even if you don’t have a great deal of space or gardening know how. Another perk is that rhubarb is a perennial, which means it will grow back year after year! Want to know more? Take a peek below at these helpful tips on how to grow rhubarb this summer and have this sweet treat ready at your fingertips.
How to Grow Rhubarb
How to plant rhubarb:
You can plant rhubarb from seed, but you should know it is a slow to mature plant and will not be ready to harvest this season. Instead, opt to plant rhubarb “crowns” which are rhubarb plants that are 1-2 seasons old. They are not only easier to plant but will start producing for you the first year you try them.
When planting your rhubarb crowns, you want to loosen the soil so the roots can spread as much as a foot deep easily. Then, bury the crowns about four inches deep. Rhubarb crowns should be spaced out with about two feet in between each plant.
If you would rather plant your rhubarb in a container, feel free! Rhubarb grows well in containers as long as they are ample in size. Remember that the roots need a good foot or more to stretch out, so choose a container that can accommodate this.
How to care for rhubarb plants:
Newly planted crowns need a lot of fresh water to get a strong start. Be sure to water your rhubarb plants so they get about 2 inches of water per week. A few inches of mulch can help the plant retain moisture during the warmer months.
Rhubarb appreciates fertilizer several times during the growing season. You can give the plant a basic fertilizer every four weeks. You won’t need to worry about pesticides as few pests pay any attention to rhubarb plants. Just watch for signs of rot or decay on the leaves which can occur if the soil quality or drainage around the plant is poor. Remove these portions of the plant as you see them.
Every 4-5 years you may need to thin out your rhubarb crop. Simply remove plants so a space of at least a foot can be in between plantings. At the end of the growing season, simply cut the crown back down to the base and cover with several inches of mulch. You can then look forward to a new crop growing next year!
How to harvest rhubarb:
You will know that your rhubarb is ready to harvest when the stem is about 12 inches in length and a pinkish red color. You can cut it with a knife at the base of the crown to remove it. A good crown can produce as much as 2 pounds of stems if not more. Once you harvest your rhubarb, you can use it in one of these delicious rhubarb recipes.
Once the growing season for your rhubarb is over, you can look forward to new crop next year. Taking care of your rhubarb plant now can insure you enjoy many prosperous growing seasons to come. Give these tips for growing rhubarb a try and see what results you can achieve.
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