How to Grow Rhubarb When thinking about how to grow rhubarb, plant it where the winter temperatures go below 40 F. Did you find this helpful?
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Pick a spot that drains well and dig a deep hole — the size of a bushel basket — and fill it back up halfway with well-aged manure or high-quality compost rhubarb likes growing in very rich soil; half aged manure and half compost would be ideal. Rhubarb also requires excellent drainage, so mix in some sand or pearlite a natural mined volcanic material available in any garden center as you go — especially if your soil is heavy.
Then mulch the area well with straw or pine straw to keep the soil cool. Keep that area well-watered during dry times, especially as the plant is getting established. Make sure it gets an inch of water every week — either from rainfall or from you. A hose set to drip slowly for an hour is the best way to really saturate the soil. Just remember to remove any trace of the toxic leaves and use only the fully red stalks. So if you want to spray one of the new iron-based herbicides on weeds that are growing in a zoysia grass lawn, go right ahead.
Share This: share on facebook share on twitter share via email print. Use a sharp spade to slice down through the crown, taking out a piece with at least two pink knobs on top. You can also purchase container-grown plants from a garden center. When preparing the planting hole, remember that this is a perennial plant that will grow for many years in the same spot.
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So dig a deep, wide hole 18" deep and " wide and partially fill it with a mix of compost or aged manure and good garden soil. Add a cup or two of all-purpose organic fertilizer and then place the roots in the hole and continue filling it, making sure that the buds end up " below the soil surface. It is important to keep rhubarb plants well-watered for the first year or two. Mulch will help to minimize water loss and maintain a more consistent moisture level. To maintain good production, add a few shovelfuls of compost around the crowns each spring.
At maturity, a rhubarb plant gets to be about 3 feet in diameter, so plant them 3 to 4 feet apart in a 3- or 4-foot-wide bed. Four to six plants will provide plenty of stalks for most families.
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Harvest sparingly, starting in the second year. Rhubarb sends up Jack-in-the-beanstalk like flower stalks, sometimes reaching 6 feet tall. They are decorative, but use up some of the plant's energy. Remove the flowers as soon as they begin to form and you'll be able to keep picking tender rhubarb stalks right through the summer and into the fall.
Only the stalks of rhubarb are edible. The leaves contain oxalate, making them poisonous when consumed in large quantities.
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According to the Rhubarb Compendium , you'd have to eat a lot of rhubarb leaves for it to be deadly — approximately 11 pounds. Cart 0 items in cart. Gardener's Supply.