Rhubarb Growing Guide

Rhubarb

Crop Rotation Group

Miscellaneous 

Soil

Well-drained soil with plenty of compost dug in. In clay soil, use raised beds.

Position

Sun or partial afternoon shade.

Frost tolerant

Yes, becomes dormant in winter.

Feeding

Use mulch to keep soil nutrient levels high. Mulch with rich compost in late winter, and add more mulch in summer to deter weeds and keep soil moist.

Companions

Strawberry.

Spacing

Single Plants: 2' 11" (90cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 2' 11" (90cm) with 2' 11" (90cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Can be grown from seeds, but it is faster to grow from a dormant crown, or by cutting away and replanting a division taken from an established plant. Make new plantings or move old ones in spring.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

To make rhubarb stems longer, cover plants with bushel baskets or other large, breathable containers for one month in spring.

Harvesting

Use a sharp knife to cut new stems in spring as they reach 14 inches long. Discard leaves, which contain dangerously high levels of oxalic acid. Stop harvesting in early summer, and allow plants to grow freely the rest of the season.

Troubleshooting

Trap slugs with beer, hand pick them in rainy weather, or spray them with caffeinated coffee first thing in the morning.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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