Rhubarb is propagated from tubers and is easy to grow once it has been established. Be patient, you will not harvest any of the vegetable until the second year and then only in small amounts. The third year will give a much larger yield for use in many thing including pies and cakes.
- Red Petioles (leafstalks)
- Canada Red (long, thick stalks, extra sweet)
- Cherry Red (rich red)
- Crimson Red
- MacDonald (tender skin; red)
- Green Petioles (leafstalks)
When to plant
Rhubarb should be planted in the spring. Choose your location wisely as this plant will be around for 20 years or more. Rhubarb enjoys sunlight and fertile, well drained soil. Depending on the variety you plant, each plant will spread to cover an area of about 4 feet square.
Spacing and Depth
If time allows, prepare your location in the fall before you intend to plant by mixing compost to the soil. You will be starting your rhubarb from a tuber. Plant after the last frost in your area and be sure that the top of the tuber is about 2 inches below the ground level.
Care and Harvesting
Fertilize with 10-10-10 immediately after planting and each spring thereafter. Also, make sure you water well and keep your bed weed free. Remove any flower stalks the first year and some the second year. Your yield will be larger if you wait to begin harvesting the third year.
A snout beetle, curculio, can badly infect your plants by boring into the stalks, crowns, and roots. However, they can be controlled with an appropriate insecticide. You may have to destroy some of your more infected plants after the beetles lay their eggs in mid-summer.