How to plant rhubarb in the garden

Rhubarb is a vegetable that is widely used in the preparation of various jams, sweets and cakes and that is why its taste is very appreciated, especially by the youngest. Learn how to plant rhubarb in the garden and make your desserts even healthier and tastier.

Rhubarb origin and constitution

Rhubarb is a vegetable with Asian origins and has been used as a medicinal plant for thousands of years, particularly in Chinese medicine. Its rhizomes are used for the production of various medicines, especially laxatives, and its stems are a rich and tasty source of food. Rhubarb has the scientific name of Rheum palmatum L and belongs to the family of Polygonaceae. It is an annual plant that is characterized by having a thick stem and large leaves, about 30 to 40 centimeters in length. These, in turn, are arranged in basal, corded and bilobular groups and should not be consumed, since they have a strong concentration of oxalic acid crystals that are harmful to the human body.

The best time to plant rhubarb

Anyone can plant rhubarb, even those who do not have much cultivation experience. Rhubarb grows from the ground and the best time to plant them is in early spring, after winter frosts. In general, the rhubarb stem will grow up to 45 centimeters in length and will be about 25 to 50 mm in diameter.

The best place to plant rhubarb

Rhubarb, like onion , grows more easily in sunny places, however, its planting does not do well in hot and humid places. Thus, rhubarb should be strategically placed in your garden, as it needs a place with sunshine, but also with long periods of shade. The ideal temperatures for growing rhubarb are between 5 and 25 degrees centigrade.

The process of planting rhubarb

To plant rhubarb properly in your vegetable garden or vegetable garden , and to do it in the most effective way possible, you must follow the following steps:

Purchasing rhubarb roots or crowns: go to a specialty store or seed store to purchase the roots or crowns that will best suit your vegetable garden or vegetable garden.

Fertilizing the land: the rapid growth of rhubarb depends on how the soil is fertilized. In this sense, you should use organic fertilizers or a cover of plant roots with soil, manure or straw, so that the soil has all the necessary nutrients for the development of rhubarb and to be as fertile as possible.

Laying the roots or crowns on the earth: you should place the roots or crowns on the earth separately, about 90 cm deep, and then cover them with earth and manure, straw or compost. The crowns must be divided every four years so that the rhubarb does not lose its sweet and unique flavor.

Water the land regularly: rhubarb need to be watered regularly to develop under the best possible conditions. Watering should be carried out frequently, but do it in such a way that the soil is not too soggy or swampy, as this can damage your plantation.

Harvest the rhubarb

The harvest of rhubarb depends exclusively on the size of your plants. Once they have an average length of 30 centimeters, they are ready to be harvested. When harvesting the rhubarb, you must carefully hold the vegetable by the base of its stem and push hard downwards and to the sides so that the roots come off the ground. During the harvest, you should always leave some rhubarb plants on the ground so that the next season has a strong base of crowns and roots.

The main pests and diseases of rhubarb and how they should be treated

As well as any plant or flower species that can be planted in the garden, rhubarb can also be the target of various pests and diseases , the following being the best known:

Weeds: weeds prevent rhubarb growth and, as such, must be eradicated so that the roots are not damaged. Weed control must take place before planting and various types of herbicides can be used so that the crop is always safeguarded.

Slugs and snails: they are found under large leaves and feed at night by scraping the surface of the stem, leaving unsightly scars and can ruin a rhubarb culture. For this to not happen, it is necessary that the soil has a good drainage and that there are no weeds. It is advisable that when fertilizing the soil, root coverings of areas prone to slugs are not used.

Mildew: gives a brown appearance to rhubarb leaves, while darkening their stems. In these cases, it is important to remove all affected areas of the plant and, if you sow rhubarb in the following year, it is recommended that you change the cultivation site so that you will not be affected by mildew again.

Rot: leaves with brown and stiff edges feel the lack of water and/ or calcium.

Phytophthora fungus : The phytophthora fungus can cause the crowns of plants to rot and these, in turn, affect the healthy development of the entire plant. The solution is to make a good drainage of the cultivated land, to avoid the appearance of this and other fungi.

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