How to: Grow and Tend to Deliciously Tart Rhubarb

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How to: Grow and Tend to Delicously Tart Rhubarb - by Benson - Swedish Design

How to: Grow and Tend to Delicously Tart Rhubarb

If I were to give spring and summer a taste, it would probably be rhubarb, along with strawberries. This tangy delight can truly take your mind to a sunny patio, surrounded by beautiful plants and good company. But the question is, how do you grow rhubarb, and that's what I'll answer in this article. Rhubarb is probably one of the hardiest plants I know; it grows happily and vigorously no matter where you plant it. However, it prefers to be in a sunny spot with as little wind as possible. It also needs a fairly large area to grow in, so if you want to have your rhubarb in a pot, you'll need to choose a fairly large one. Another important thing to consider is that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, so if you have a dog, it might be a good idea to put compost grids around your plants. It's also most common to plant rhubarb from a plant rather than from seed, as planting from seed takes a very long time. So in this step by step guide, we'll go through how to plant from a ready-made plant, and later on, we'll go thorugh how to plant from seed. 

Heres how to plant your Rhubarb Plants:

  1. Choose a sunny spot, preferably sheltered from the wind. 
  2. Loosen the soil, remove weeds, and add some compost for extra nutrients. 
  3. Dig a hole deep enough for almost the entire plant. 
  4. Place your plant in the hole, making sure that about 5 cm of the plant's crown sticks out. 
  5. Water generously. 
  6. Fertilize twice per season, once in spring at planting, and once around August/September, with a fertilizer rich in potassium and Phosphorus. 

What do I need to plant Rhubarb?

To plant rhubarb, I recommend these products from by Benson:

How do I plant Rhubarb?

The most common way is to plant rhubarb from a ready-made plant. Of course, you can plant from seed, but it takes a very long time, and a ready-made plant can expedite the whole process. To plant from seed, start by soaking the seeds for a few hours to soften their hard shells. Then make small holes in the soil, about 1 cm deep and spaced 5-10 cm apart, and place the seeds in the holes. Water generously, and then just wait. It can take more than 3 weeks before your seeds even start to sprout, so patience is important. It's also possible for more than one plant to grow from each seed, and it's good to thin these out so that the strongest plant can get as much nourishment as possible. When the plants have grown and look ready to be moved, you can possibly transplant them if you've planted your seeds in a smaller pot or similar.
To transplant your plant, start by choosing the right spot, which should be sunny but not too windy. Then dig up the soil and add compost for extra nutrients. Dig a hole deep enough for the plant's entire roots, and place the plant in the hole. Make sure not too much of the plant is above ground. Then just water and wait. Remember that rhubarb is a plant that can take quite a long time to develop, so don't expect rhubarb in the first year.

How do I care for and water my Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a very hardy plant that can withstand most conditions, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Rhubarb thrives in nutrient-rich soil, so fertilizing at the beginning and end of each planting season is greatly appreciated by the plant. Rhubarb also doesn't need much water; watering once a week is sufficient. The longer you've had your rhubarb, the less work it needs. After a few years, it has established a strong system that can withstand most challenges, and it has also adapted to the environment in your garden or pot. After that, no special method is required to care for your rhubarb; watering and fertilizing is more than enough.

How do I harvest my Rhubarb?

Harvesting rhubarb is very simple. You simply grasp the red stalk, twist, and pull it away from the plant. The most important thing is not to damage the plant; you only want to remove the stalk, not the roots. After harvesting, it's good to remove the leaves immediately and put them in the compost. The leaves are poisonous because they contain oxalic acid. You should also peel your rhubarb, and you do this by taking a knife and making a cut at the top or bottom of the stalk, but not all the way through, and then you peel off the skin.

Make sure not to let your pets come near the peel or leaves, as they are not only toxic to humans but also to animals.


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