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RHUBARB

nuts

Spacing:

3' within rows, 5-6' between rows

PH:

6-6.8

Watering:

Maintain good soil moisture during the first season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings

Mulch:

Compost or straw can be used, or hand weeding can be done to keep the weeds back

The details...

It is best to plant rhubarb out in a well prepared, weed-free soil. A spot in the cultivated garden is preferable. Rhubarb likes rich, light soil with lots of organic matter. Lots of manure compost is the best fertilizer and mulch. Rhubarb plantings will get smothered out by grass if planted in an area that has not previously been cultivated. DO not harvest rhubarb for the first year. Once the plant has established itself, you can harvest stalks that are 1 inch or larger in diameter for a period of 6-8 weeks. The season of harvest extends from May to early June. Some harvest in the fall can be done. Harvest stalks by snapping them off at the base. Any seed stalks that appear should be nipped in the bud and snapped or cut off immediately as they are spotted. The seed stalks, if allowed to mature will cause the plant to stop producing for the season.

Rhubarb is a cool weather plant. Plants that are 30-40 years old can still be healthy and productive. One of our crew members found a 50 year old planting of rhubarb still thriving at an abandoned miners cabin up in isolated wilderness of Alaska!

The leaves of the rhubarb contain oxalic acid crystals and are toxic. The stems, however, are safe to eat raw. This should be explained to small children. When harvesting the leaves can be snipped off and laid around the plants themselves as a form of mulch.

Every ten years or so, divide the planting in early spring, leaving about 1/3rd of the crown in place. Cut up the remainder into fist sized pieces and replant.

Rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream is fit for a king.

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Text by Effie Elfer - Fruit Drawings by Gabe Tempesta
Text and fruit drawings © 2009 Elmore Roots

Elmore Roots Nursery, LLC - 802-888-3305 - elmoreroots.com