How to Plant Rhubarb? – Tips for Growing Rhubarb!
If you do not know anything about gardening and just want to try it, then the best way to start is with rhubarb. The best thing about this herb is that it will flourish without any much attention. It also provides tasty stalks. It is mainly cultivated for its tasty pink stems and is a frost-resistant vegetable. It in fact it needs a phase or period of frost during the winter months to produce the best stalks. Now if you are thinking how to start? Then you have come to the right place. This article is about;
â€œhow to plant rhubarb?â€
so, read onâ€¦
How to Plant Rhubarb?
Here are some of tips to grow rhubarb:
As usual to develop a deep rooting system, grow these plants in a fertile and partially shaded and free-draining soil. You can start digging the soil before four weeks of planting them. Remove stones that you find and add organic matter as much as possible.
Once the soil is prepared, the next procedure is planting. Now, rhubarb is grown from seed. However, it is recommended that you buy one-year old plants called â€œcrownsâ€, which have been divided from strong and disease-free plants. Plant them in early winter or late autumn. Spacing is another factor that you need to do i.e. at least 75cm. when you plant, remember that the depth must be such that the top of the plant is just below or at the soil surface.
When these plants are dormant, it must be divided for every five or six years. Each plane is split into four crowns using a spade. Make sure that each crown has an eye that could provide shoots for the next year. The next step is to dig a hole little larger than the divided plants. Now remember that the top part of the crown must be 2.5cm below the soil level. Mark the place where the crown has been planted with st0ones or canes. This is done until new shoots start appearing above the soil i.e. during March and February months.
This is another simple step, where an earlier harvest of stems that are sweeter and they do not need peeling. All you need to do for forcing outdoors is cover the plants with a large pot or container to exclude the light. Place a cover over this plant as it shows the signs of growth. Lift the whole crowns in the month of November and place them on the soil surface to be chilled. This is done to break the period of dormancy. Pot each crown with compost and bring it into a greenhouse kind of setting by cooling. You need to exclude light by placing black polythene or forcing pots over the crowns. This heating effect and lack of light will result in the ripening of rhubarb, which is ready to eat within four weeks.
Allow rhubarb to establish for a year before you harvest it for the first time. You can select the largest stalks and then wait for the leaves to open fully. The stalks can be harvested by twisting the stems from the plant base. Remember not to eat the leaves as they contain oxalic acids.
This plant also suffers from few diseases. The main threat is the crown rot, which occurs when the soil conditions are wet. The fungal infection starts at the base where the crowns soften and turn brown. Plants suffering from this infection should be destroyed immediately. To avoid this infection, make sure that rhubarb is planted in well drained, fertile, and weed free soil.
Types of Rhubarb Plants
- ‘Mammoth red’: Grows up to 5ft.
- ‘Timperley early’: This is a plant good for forcing and has a lovely flavor.
- Prince Albert: It is an early variety with long stalks.
- Rhubarb Ace of Hearts: This is the perfect choice if you have a smaller garden.
These were some of the tips on –
how to grow rhubarb?
I hope that you would start your gardening mission with this wonderful plant and have a bountiful harvest. All the best!