How to Grow Rhubarb
I have always grown rhubarb in my garden. Sometimes we eat it
and sometimes we don't, but I think I just enjoy admiring its big
green leaves and pretty red stalks.
Rhubarb will grow almost anywhere. We have moved our rhubarb
plant five times in the past twenty years (yes, twenty!). It
just keeps coming back year after year. This plant is very
resistant to winter weather and drought. It grows better in
northern states than southern states because it doesn't care for
hot humid summer weather.
Here are some basic tips for growing rhubarb:
Rhubarb season runs from April to September. You can buy starter
plants (root clumps) at most garden nurseries. The best time to
plant them is early spring, but I have also transplanted them in
fall, and they came back in the spring.
Rhubarb prefers fertile, well drained soil. It thrives best in
full sun but will also tolerate part shade (it just won't grow as
Plant your rhubarb roots in a hole two feet deep and two feet
wide and leave at least three feet between plants. When you
place the plant in the hole, the crown bud should be two inches
below the ground surface. Add some composted manure or peat moss
to the hole before filling it in.
The plant won't be big enough to harvest the first year, but
starting in the second year you can cut a few stalks as soon as
they grow to about the size of your finger. Cut the stalk to the
ground level. Only the stalks are edible--the leaves are
poisonous and should not be consumed. Flowering stalks can be
cut and discarded whenever they appear.
Fertilize your rhubarb plant with composted manure or leaves in
the fall or early winter.
Rhubarb is easy to freeze. Choosing firm red stalks, wash in
cold water and cut into 1-inch lengths. Place in freezer bags or
freezer containers. Leave 1/2 inch space for expansion in
Here are some great rhubarb recipes for your family to try:
6 c. raw rhubarb, chopped
1-1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. shortening
3 T. flour
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix rhubarb, 3 T. flour, and white
sugar and place in bottom of greased 9x13 pan. Mix remaining
flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, and shortening until
crumbly. Sprinkle on top of rhubarb mixture. Bake 20 min. or
until rhubarb is tender.
Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
4 c. rhubarb, diced
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 box white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) package strawberry Jello
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ingredients in a greased
13x9x2-inch baking dish in the following order: rhubarb, sugar,
dry jello, marshmallows. Top with dry cake mix and a little
butter. Bake for 45 minutes.
4 c. cut rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
4 c. sugar
1 pkg. raspberry gelatin
Heat rhubarb slowly in covered pan until rhubarb is tender,
adding a little water if necessary. Add sugar and cook until
sugar is dissolved. Stir to keep from sticking. Add gelatin and
stir until dissolved. Pour into jelly jars and refrigerate.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.
Comment on this article or submit your tip to CreativeHomemaking.com.
Click here for a printer friendly version of this page.
Recommend this article to a friend.
Search our article archives.
Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.