How to grow rhubarb in the garden step by step: complete guide

Hello gardeners, today I am going to talk about rhubarb , we continue with less known or consumed vegetables, and that really have many health benefits. Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum L.) is a lively plant (this means that it lasts for years). It is native to Eastern Europe, (Ukraine, Russia) and to Asian countries.

What is consumed are the petioles, whose flavor is slightly acidic. The leaves are not consumed as they are very toxic, so they are removed and can be added to the compost  to be able to take advantage of them. Rhubarb can grow to a little over a meter, so they are quite large plants, this must be taken into account when growing it.

How to grow rhubarb

To grow rhubarb you just have to follow these steps:

How to plant rhubarb

Rather, it is recommended to buy the plant or rhizomes and transplant it, because there are usually many abortions at planting. If we decide to sow it, it will have to be done in spring in the seedbed and it will be transplanted in late winter-early the following spring.

In this case, the first harvest would have to wait 2 or 3 years. The recommended distance between plants in its cultivation is about 70-90 cm.

Soil or substrate suitable for rhubarb

Rhubarb grows well in adequately fertilized soils, somewhat light and well drained. The pH should be around the neutral or slightly acidic 6-7. It is important that when transplanting into the ground, it is free of weeds. Because once the rhubarb plants have grown, the weeds will be very difficult to remove.

How to water the rhubarb crop

It is advisable to keep the soil moist, without puddles. This can be done by watering frequently but with little amount of water, especially in summer. Likewise, it is important that it does not lack water during the development of its leaves (this is almost at the end of spring when there is no frost).

Optimal climate for rhubarb

This plant can be adapted to different types of climates. What you definitely need is to be cold in winter to be able to grow properly, hence the transplant is not done in the hot months. The colder the plant spends in winter, the redder the stems will become.

In winter, most of the aerial part of the plant disappears, but the rhizomes continue to accumulate reserves in the soil, so they should not be uprooted.

Prune the rhubarb

To focus production on the stems and for them to thicken as much as possible, it is convenient to cut the flowers when they appear. As it has quite large leaves, it is advisable to remove those that seem sick or attacked by fungi.

How to fertilize rhubarb

It is recommended to make a good fertilizer before sowing or planting. But as nutrients are being lost, it is advisable after harvesting to add worm humus , given its high nitrogen content.

Rhubarb Pests and Diseases

Rhubarb continues to be a very rustic plant, and few pests affect it. What it is usually most susceptible to is fungi, especially rust . This is partly due to the large size of its leaves, the enormous amount of them and the environmental humidity, all this creates a good environment for the development of fungi.

To avoid this, sometimes some leaves will have to be pruned to promote ventilation in the plant. In addition, you have to do without watering on wet days and if the fungus is already installed it would be necessary to use an ecological fungicide .

Rhubarb benefits and properties

This vegetable has a very low sugar and fat content, and it is also very satiating, which is why it is highly indicated for weight loss diets. On the other hand, it helps to calm stomach problems, as well as pain or diarrhea.

As I have previously said, the leaves are toxic and should not be consumed. They have high oxalic acid content, which means that a high intake of this compound can cause kidney problems. This acid is also found in the stems but in much lower amounts, to lower this concentration even more it is usually boiled and the cooking broth is discarded. In this way it can be consumed without any problem.

We should not be alarmed or not introduce this vegetable into our diet due to this fact, since other vegetables such as spinach also contain oxalic acid, the only drawback is that in rhubarb it is excessively concentrated in the leaves.

As for the preparation of this plant in the kitchen, it is used both for desserts and for main dishes, there are many recipes that you can prepare.

Finally, I want to add that if you want to grow rhubarb in a garden box , it is convenient that it be large, both in depth and width, but you can adapt it to the container by pruning, this process should be repeated year after year. Greetings gardeners!

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