Rhubarb

Home grown rhubarb is a great vegetable that is very versatile.

Rhubarb adapts very well to all climatic zones and most soils that have good drainage. It grows well in semi shaded positions or sunny spots. The preparation of their beds should include the working in of manure and other fertilisers, as they are gross feeders.

PLANTING

The best time to plant is June to September.

The crowns should be planted 40-50 cm’s apart. They should be watered regularly and during the main cropping season, which is Spring until Autumn, they should be top dressed with a liquid feed or nitrogen based fertiliser every 5-6 weeks. You should also cut off any flowers so that the plant’s energy is focused on producing more stalks.

HARVESTING

When pulling stalks, hold the lower part of the plant firmly and cleanly pull it away from the plant. Always pick the outside stalks first and leave the young centre stalks, as this promotes more growth.

Cut the leaves off as they can not be used. Stalks will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks but are best cooked fresh. It is a good idea to store the stalks in a jar in your fridge.

AFTER HARVESTING

Cultivate the soil around each plant and refertilise in preparation for the spring growth.

Your rhubarb clumps should be lifted and divided every 3-4 years, during the winter months.