Why You Should Consider Growing Rhubarb in Your Garden | System Pavers
With its broad green leaves and pinkish stems, rhubarb can be a delightful addition to your vegetable garden. However, most people who choose to put rhubarb in their garden do so because it will allow them to make delicious rhubarb dishes - from rhubarb pie to rhubarb jam - right in their very own kitchen. In addition to being somewhat difficult to find, rhubarb always tastes best when freshly picked, which means it could be the perfect plant to grow if you are looking for something a little bit unusual. It is fairly easy to grow and harvest rhubarb as well, so long as you are aware of a few important details before getting started.
Growing Your Rhubarb
While growing from seed is possible, rhubarb is easiest to grow from budded pieces or from crowns, both of which are over a year old and are ready to go from the moment you put them in your garden. Another factor to keep in mind is that you can only harvest rhubarb when you have a mature plant - one that is at least a couple of years old. If you have plans to use it right away, then a mature crown is your best option. For all these reasons, those who are new to growing rhubarb will most likely want to opt for a crown right off the bat.
Be aware before purchasing crowns that rhubarb comes in many varieties, each with its special qualities. The biggest differences in the types of rhubarb comes down to when they are best for planting - some fare better when placed in either autumn or spring, while others can flourish regardless of the season you plant them in. Just do be aware that rhubarb should be planted in warm, moist soil in order to thrive. Be sure to use organic mulch such as shredded bark or compost in order to keep the soil around rhubarb moist, especially when the warmer summer months roll around.
Harvesting Your Rhubarb
Once you have healthy rhubarb plants growing in your garden, you simply have to ensure that they stay healthy and protected from the elements. Rhubarb favors cooler climates, is hearty and will continue to sprout up year after year with the proper care. Because it is a perennial, be sure when planting rhubarb to give it a permanent location where it will have room to grow and thrive - not just this season, but the seasons to come.
One of the great things about rhubarb is that it is incredibly easy to tell when it is available for harvesting. However, while you can trim off stalks throughout the spring and summer, it is typically best to wait until they have matured to at least 10 inches in length to ensure the health of the plant. Simply trim off what you need, or else gently pull off the stalks. Once harvested, rhubarb can be incorporated into plenty of delicious dishes, but one personal favorite it rhubarb pie. Not only is it a great source of calcium, but naturally, it's delicious! Check out this recipe for your next rhubarb pie here.
Over time, you will learn a bit more about growing rhubarb and may need to give it some special care. Divide larger, mature plants to help them thrive in your garden. Therefore, it's important to pay attention to factors such as crowding. Just a little attention over the season is usually all that is needed to keep this great edible plant growing in your garden.