Growing Rhubarb - A Garden Update | Making Her Mama
Growing Rhubarb – A Garden Update

A Quick Garden Update (then all about Growing Rhubarb)

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a garden update!  We have been very busy at work out in our yard.  Because of the late snow and then the heavy rains that descended upon us afterwards we are finding ourselves playing catch up in the garden.  We’re still pruning our fruit trees and trying to move the 12 yards of soil we got into the new veggies garden. 

 

Apple tree - Growing Rhubarb and A Garden Update - Do you grow rhubarb in your garden? You should! Not only is this plant low maintenance but it's delicious and boasts many health benefits. Come grab a free garden planner printable for growing rhubarb!
One of our 2 mature apple trees, needing a good prune still

 

I try to pick different tasks each day to do while I’m outside with the kids.  It helps to change things up so that I don’t get too achy from using the same muscles over and over (while wearing a baby on my back!).  And it also helps me to stay really excited about working in the garden.

 

Guess what I found growing in the yard!

 

When we were working out there last weekend, finishing up the NEW FENCE  (Post coming ~ just wait until you see what my husband built with free pallets!) I came across our rhubarb patch.  Rhubarb is such a treat to find blooming in the Spring.  It disappears completely after its late summer bloom and there are no signs of it for months.  Then all of a sudden, there it is!  In full swing, big leaves fanning towards the sun, beautiful pinks stalks growing tall and thick.

Last year I didn’t get any rhubarb from my patch.  I was thoroughly disappointed because I really enjoy rhubarb.  The weeds took over and within weeks they had choked out all the rhubarb.  (You can just imagine how many weeds there were if you know how big rhubarb plants can be!)

 

Rhubarb and Weeds - Growing Rhubarb and A Garden Update - Do you grow rhubarb in your garden? You should! Not only is this plant low maintenance but it's delicious and boasts many health benefits. Come grab a free garden planner printable for growing rhubarb!
Here is one of my rhubarb plants being overrun by weeds.

 

This year I was determined not to let that happen.  So I spent my morning outside carefully turning the soil around my plant and handpicking as many of the weeds as I could.  I then mulched the bed with straw, filling it in around the bigger stalks and just putting it right over the smaller leaves and stalks.  

I am happy to report that my rhubarb is thriving.  It’s gotten bigger and there are no signs of weeds.  I have one more area of the patch to weed out and mulch so that I’ll have rhubarb to enjoy this summer.

 

Rhubarb Mulched - Growing Rhubarb and A Garden Update - Do you grow rhubarb in your garden? You should! Not only is this plant low maintenance but it's delicious and boasts many health benefits. Come grab a free garden planner printable for growing rhubarb!
The other rhubarb plant after weeding and mulching with straw.

 

The Basics of Growing Rhubarb

 

Growing rhubarb is very simple because these plants are hardy and pretty low maintenance.  They do best in climates that have a cold winter.

 

Preparing for planting

 

Rhubarb is a heavy feeder and doesn’t like competition, so be sure to rid your chosen area of any perennial weeds.  The ideal site will be one that has fertile, well drained soil and full sun light.  

Rhubarb is planted in crowns and can be planted in the spring or in the fall.

In the spring, as soon as the soil is workable, the crowns can be planted while the roots are in the dormant stage.  Likewise, as soon as the roots enter dormancy in the fall, it can be planted.

 

Planting Rhubarb

 

Rhubarb roots should be planted 1 to 2 inches deep and plants should be spaced 4 feet apart as they grow quite large.  Because they are such heavy feeders, it is a good idea to add compost, rotted manure, or anything high in organic matter to the soil.

 

Caring for your Rhubarb Plant

 

Keep the weeds picked during the growing season.  They will greatly affect your rhubarbs growth.  Mulch around your plant to ensure that it receives the nutrients needed and stays moist.  Water it heavily, especially during the summer months.  

If your stalks are thin and don’t thicken out, your rhubarb needs more nutrients!

Rhubarb should be dug up and the roots divided every 3-4 years and then replanted.

At the end of the growing season, remove any debris left from the plant.  Add nitrogen to the soil with well rotted compost and provide 2-4 inches of mulch over the winter.

 

Harvesting your Rhubarb

 

Now for the best part – harvesting and then enjoying your rhubarb.  This makes all the “work” of growing rhubarb worth it!  

Although usually paired with something sweet, rhubarb is a vegetable! Click To Tweet

Rhubarb needs a year to really get well established so don’t pick any stalks during the first year.  After that, harvest when the stalks are anywhere from 12-18 inches long depending on your variety.  To pick, hold stalk and pull away near the base of the plant with a slight twisting motion.

Once your plant is 3 years old, you should get a harvest season lasting 8-10 weeks.

NOTE:  The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous so DO NOT EAT them!

 

Many Ways to Enjoy Rhubarb

 

AppleRhubarbCrisp - Growing Rhubarb and A Garden Update - Do you grow rhubarb in your garden? You should! Not only is this plant low maintenance but it's delicious and boasts many health benefits. Come grab a free garden planner printable for growing rhubarb!

 

I love stewed rhubarb on oatmeal.  I also enjoy strawberry rhubarb pie.  But, my all time favourite way to enjoy rhubarb is to make rhubarb juice.  We then use the juice to make rhubarb lemonade.  You can drink this in the middle of winter and it still tastes like summer!  If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend giving it a go!  

We have always made our rhubarb juice using a steam juicer.  However, if you don’t have a steam juicer, there is a very simple alternative to making the juice using just a pot and some water.  Carolyn Cope shared her recipe on Serious Eats.

And, if you have a cold juicer at home you can try raw rhubarb juice!  I haven’t done this yet, but since coming across this blog post on Provident Living Today I’m certainly eager to try it.  I’m thinking rhubarb ice cubes would be much loved during the heat of the summer months.

If you enjoyed this post and want to save it for later, use this pin!  

 

Get Your Garden Planner Printable

 

Rhubarb Planner - Growing Rhubarb and A Garden Update - Do you grow rhubarb in your garden? You should! Not only is this plant low maintenance but it's delicious and boasts many health benefits. Come grab a free garden planner printable for growing rhubarb!

So, now that you are ready, you can get this note taking page for your garden planning binder.

Make a simple drawing of your rhubarb garden layout.  Take note of what the weather was like, what worked well this year, when you harvested and how much.

To get receive this printable, please subscribe below.  You will also receive full access to my printables library that is constantly being updated with helpful resources.

 

 

 

 

 

This post has been shared at:

Thank Goodness It’s Monday at Nourishing Joy

Clever Chick Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick

Mix It Up Monday at Flour Me With Love

Amaze Me Monday on Dwellings 

Homemaking Mondays at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Over the Moon Linky at Sizzling Towards Sixty

Tuesdays with a Twist at Back to the Basics

The Scoop hosted over at Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Tuesdays at Our Home at Our Home Away From Home

The Homemaking Party at Classical Homemaking

Wine’d Down Wednesday at Our Three Peas

Creative Muster at Fluster Buster

Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life

 

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11 Comments
  • love your garden! Absolutely beautiful!

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks! It’s been 3 years in the making and it feels so amazing to finally have it up and going and as long as I keep remembering to water we should be able to feed ourselves (at least all our veggies) this summer!!!

  • You really made me want to try it. How long after planting can you harvest? I’ve never heard of eating it on oatmeal before. That’s intriguing!

  • Lisa says:

    When I first moved into our house, I noticed some rhubarb plants at the back of the lawn… so we’ve had rhubarb every year, but I have to say that I haven’t been taking care of it at all for several years. Now I feel kinda bad, and I hope that I can replant them somewhere else, because the area where they are growing is too shady.
    I would make rhubarb-strawberry crisp with my rhubarb… and it’s always so good!

  • Lina says:

    I’ve never heard of rhubarb lemonade, but it sounds delicious. I’ll have to try it. 🙂

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Lina! Thanks for coming by. If you have never had rhubarb lemonade you are in for a treat! When we make lemonade we have a pitcher that hold 8 cups of water; so we usually use 7 cups water, 1 cup lemon juice, and 1 cup of sugar. To make it with rhubarb juice use 6 cups water, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup rhubarb juice, and 1 cup sugar! Its divine!!!!

  • What a fabulous find, my husband loves rhubarb! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  • I remember “eating” rhubarb at a friend’s house every summer when I was little. And when I say eat I actually mean we just dipped it in sugar then licked the sugar off. Same thing, almost? #Blogstravaganza

    • Nadine says:

      LOL That is awesome! I’ve never had rhubarb like that. Might be a good way to get the kids to try it. I actually have been making rhubarb pop and eating the left over stewed rhubarb pulp over yogurt! YUM! Perhaps one of my favourite vegetables 🙂

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Nadine Best

I am a follower of Jesus, SAHM, THMer, and homeschooler to my 4 boys. I love to garden and am a wanna be homesteader. I also LOVE organizing.

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