Caring for rhubarb — with our tips for a lush harvest

Things to know Location Planting Care Watering Fertilizing HarvestingPests & Diseases FAQ

Matching products: Buy rhubarb

Botanical name: Rheum rhabarbarum Other names: common rhubarb, vegetable rhubarb Use: stalks for processing into juice, compote, cake, jam, good for garden or raised bed
Origin: Himalayan
Flower: cream-white. Slightly pink when closed. The inflorescence grows up to two meters high. Pollen and nectar are very valuable for insects, but flowering weakens the perennial and should therefore be removed early.
Foliage: dark green and large, removed when stems are harvested
.The stems, which are up to 70 cm long and 5 cm wide, can be harvested from mid-April. These are depending on the variety with green or red flesh. The vegetable is also incorrectly referred to as fruit. The best-known type is the red-stemmed «Holsteiner blood» variety.

The plant, which originates from the Himalayas, has been known since the 11th century and was even used as medicine in ancient China. Rhubarb has been prized and grown in gardens in Europe since the 16th century. With its finely tart taste, the plant, which belongs to the vegetable family, has been able to attract many fans to this day. The peeled or unpeeled styles are mainly processed into cakes and compotes. Planted out in the garden, the perennial plant is extremely easy to care for in a sunny location and reliably produces perennials every springout. Originally, St. John’s Day (June 24) was considered the end of the rhubarb harvest season, because the oxalic acid content in the stalks increases in summer and the plants should have enough time to recover until autumn.

As a rule of thumb, the robust plants should be cut by the beginning of July at the latest. The «Livingstone» variety has a long harvest season, you can harvest these rhubarb plants continuously from May to October.Buy rhubarbIn which location does Rheum feel most comfortable?Rhubarb plants are very undemanding. Well-drained and humus-rich soil in a sunny spot is important. If the location is too shady, the stems will be thin and the growth will be less. A deep soil without stagnant moisture is recommended for deep roots. The stem vegetables belong to the group of heavy consumers and therefore require sufficient nutrients.

How do I plant my rhubarb in the garden? Find out everything about planting rhubarb, the right planting time and tips about rhubarb plants When is the best time to plant rhubarb? The best time to plant rhubarb is spring. Once the ground is no longer frozen, you can plant the knotweed, which is actually a type of vegetable. With humus-rich conditions and sufficient heat, the rhubarb plant quickly forms new roots and grows quickly.

In principle, you can replant rhubarb all year round or transplant it to another location. Rhubarb is also suitable for raised beds or large containers. When planting in summer, it is important that the crop is never too dry, but that waterlogging is avoided.Which plant partners are suitable for rhubarb?Rhubarb forms a large number of stalks with large leaves under optimal conditions. Therefore, you should plan for a space of at least 1 m2 when planting rhubarb. Rhubarb is a perennial plant, which has stood in the same place for decades and whose place is rarely changed. Before sprouting in spring, the ground around the rhubarb plant is mostly empty and bare. As soon as the knotweed begins to grow, the space fills up. Hardly any other plant allows this changing space requirement. Plant partners for rhubarb can be lamb’s lettuce or spinach.

Both annual vegetables can be sown directly into the ground in late summer. As the rhubarb retreats into the rootstock and survives the winter, spinach or lamb’s lettuce can grow and cover the ground around the rhubarb. The winter vegetables are harvested by the time the rhubarb sprout. If rhubarb is to be planted in a mixed culture with other plants, peas, kohlrabi or lettuce and lettuce can be good neighbors. Our gardening tip: In the first and second year, the stem vegetables still need less space. Here you can grow radishes, cress, lettuce or annual flowers such as marigolds or marigolds right next to the rhubarb.

Step-by-step guide to planting rhubarbWhether you are buying rhubarb and planting new ones, or planting a plant in a different spot after many years, the step-by-step guide to planting rhubarb will show you the process. In addition to planting rhubarb in the ground, planting it in a raised bed is another way of cultivating the classic. It is important to know that rhubarb is a permanent crop in the same place for many years and can only be harvested for a few weeks (the exception is the «Livingstone®» variety, which is harvested regularly from May to October).Planting rhubarb in the ground/raised bed:

  • Good soil preparation is essential for good growth and a bountiful rhubarb harvest.
  • Before planting the rhubarb, loosen the soil deeply (50 to 60 cm) and remove any existing weeds.
  • Water the rhubarb plant thoroughly before planting out.
  • Choose a planting distance of 50 cm to other plants, walls or paths.
  • Dig a planting hole twice the depth of the root ball.
  • First put 3 to 5 liters of high-quality potting soil in the planting hole.
  • Remove the pot and place the rhubarb plant upright in the planting hole. Be careful not to plant rhubarb too deep. The buds or leaves should be level with the surface. Watering is made more difficult if the rhubarb is planted too high.
  • Scatter Kölle Bio Root Power in the planting hole. The organic natural fertilizer promotes root formation due to the mycorrhizal fungus cultures it contains. The root formation of the rhubarb is sustainably improved and the soil activity is increased.
  • Fill in the space between the root ball and the planting hole with a mixture of excavation and potting soil.
  • Kick the soil firmly with your foot so that the root balls get good contact with the ground.
  • Finally, the rhubarb is poured with 5 to 10 liters of water and covered thinly with mulch. The mulch layer minimizes evaporation, suppresses weed growth and sustainably improves soil life.

Until it takes root, it is important that the crop is watered as needed. In phases with little rainfall, watering every 2 to 3 days may be necessary. Our gardening tip: To strengthen the plants, it is beneficial to break out the flowers in a targeted manner. Rhubarb blossoms cost the plants unnecessary energy.

How do I properly care for my rhubarb?

Rheum is one of those plants that require little care. Optimal site conditions, even soil moisture and sufficient nutrients are essential for lush growth. Therefore, watering in summer can be important for the perennial, because the plant is weakened when there is a lack of water and growth in the coming year is lower. It is important that the beginnings of the blossom are removed early, because even a blossom saps energy. In autumn the leaves turn yellow and limp. This natural process is a retraction of the perennial and should not be disturbed. Leave the foliage on the plant, even if it makes an ugly picture. A layer of compost, manure or leaves can be spread around the rootstock from November, but no special winter protection is necessary. The herbaceous plant is in the garden all year round and requires little care. Our gardening tip:Rhubarb is a plant that is easy to forge. With a foil hood, fleece or special growth pots, the spring heat is stored and the plant is stimulated to sprout and grow. Forcing in early spring allows for 2 to 3 weeks early growth and thus allows you to harvest earlier.

Drive rhubarb and harvest earlier
The start of the rhubarb harvest is eagerly awaited by many garden owners in the spring. The harvest time of the plant is limited due to the concentration of the ingredients. We’ll show you how to get the most out of your harvest.

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How do I water my rhubarb plant?

Freshly planted specimens may need additional watering depending on the season, rainfall, and soil conditions. Needs -based watering is important in the first year after planting. This means that additional watering is required in phases without significant rainfall. About 10 liters are recommended per pouring process. Due to the large leaves, the herbaceous plant evaporates a lot and therefore always needs sufficient moisture, but standing water is not tolerated. Watering in the early morning is ideal. Make sure that the water gets directly to the plant and not over the leaves. Once the stem vegetables have established themselves in your own garden, additional watering is only necessary in phases of extreme drought or in locations with light soil. Cultivation is very easy and from the 5th year you can harvest large quantities in nutrient-rich soil.

Useful tip: A thin layer of perennial and rose mulch or mature compost reduces evaporation and weed growth.

How do I fertilize my rhubarb properly?

To promote root formation, root power can be added as an organic fertilizer and soil activator directly when planting. Depending on the location and the potting soil used, fertilization may only be necessary in the second year. A dose of natural fertilizer is recommended for this purpose in spring. This organic fertilizer contains a high organic content, stimulates soil life and humus formation and thus forms the basis for fertile garden soil, as preferred by vegetables. In addition, a layer of compost can be distributed around the rootstock in autumn. The organic material keeps the moisture in the soil, protects against low temperatures and promotes soil activity.

How do I properly harvest rhubarb plants?

Before the first rhubarb harvest, you should give the plant 2 to 3 years to establish itself and form a strong rootstock. You can only achieve a high yield in the long term if you heed this advice. Young plants must first develop in order to form a sufficiently large storage organ. In the second year, the stems are a bit thicker, but don’t start a big harvest just yet. From the third year can be carefully harvested. The ideal time to harvest is when the stems are 30 to 40 cm long. A jerky pull-out is ideal, because if you cut it off with a knife, the remaining approach can rot. After harvesting, cut off the leaves and the white stalk and use the harvest promptly. Like other fruits, large harvested quantities can be used for jam. To do this, first peel the stems, then cut 2 cm pieces and cook them with gelling agent according to the instructions. Strawberries or other fruits can be added to taste. The large leaves can be placed around the perennial plant for mulching or used as manure against lice. It is important that no more than half of the shoots are harvested. If too many stems are removed, the plant will be emaciated and grow little the next year. From the end of June theHarvest stopped because the oxalic acid content in the stalks is increasing. The exception is the «Livingstone» variety, which can be harvested regularly from May to October. This very special variety only retires later and can be enjoyed for a long time as a mild variety.

Our gardening tip: Use the rhubarb leaves to make a liquid manure against black aphids. The oxalic acid acts as a biological agent against the sucking insects. 1 kg of greens are cut into small pieces per liter of water and left to steep for at least 24 hours. Sieve the brew, simmer it at low heat for 5 minutes and the biological plant protection from the vegetable garden is ready.

What can be the cause of yellow leaves in summer?

From August, the perennial draws the nutrients back into the underground rhizome. Thus, yellow leaves are a natural process that can be accepted without hesitation. The rhubarb plant stores the ingredients (comparable to a flower bulb) and sprout again the next spring. But a lack of nutrients can also be a cause, rhubarb needs nutrient-rich soil!

How is rhubarb propagated?

The most common method is to divide the plant in the fall. For this purpose, two pieces of the same size are planted in a new location with a spade. Propagation by seeds is possible, but very time-consuming and is mainly carried out to obtain new varieties of rhubarb.

How long can rhubarb stay in one spot in the garden?

Theoretically, the perennial can always be in the same place. For a rich yield, however, it is beneficial that the robust plant is transplanted after 8 to 10 years. When transplanting, sections can also be buried. This makes it easy to propagate the herbaceous plants. Transplanting is done in the same way as the instructions for planting.

The rhubarb plants are blooming — now what?

Depending on the location and temperature profile , flowers form from June. The harvest of the spears does not have to be stopped, but it costs the herbaceous plant strength. If you cut the buds early, flowering will not occur and the yield will be increased. The flowers are not poisonous, but woody and therefore not edible.

Are there pests on rhubarb?

On nutrient-rich soil, the herbaceous plant develops into a lush plant within a few years. Pests and diseases are extremely rare.

Can rhubarb be eaten raw?

Due to the oxalic acid contained in all parts, rhubarb should only be consumed in cooked form. The later the harvest time, the higher the oxalic acid content. The lowest salary is at a harvest in April.

recipes Here you can find the delicious recipes and find out how you can use rhubarb. Our instructions are ideal for copying. Enjoy your meal!

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