Growing rhubarb is less troublesome than most plants, as it’s not susceptible to a lot of pests. However there are other factors that need to be assessed to ensure good growth.
The ideal climate temperature should be 40 F and below. For summer temperature shouldn’t go over 75 F for best results. The best places to plant them climate wise, is the United States and Canada. Usually, these plants can last for 10 to 15 years.
Preparing the Soil
These plants can grow virtually on any type of soil. The best ones however are soils that are well drained. The soil must have a lot of organic matter and fertile. Growing rhubarb requires a tidy site. This is the best way to get rid of the weeds. The best time for cultivation is in the spring.
The lowest acceptable pH level is 5. For best results it should be 6 or 6.8. The rhubarb needs a lot of general purpose fertilizers. The amount of fertilizers used can determine the quality of the product.
A cup of 10-10-10 in spring is recommended. Manure is also needed to keep the moisture in the soil. A couple of shovels for each plant is the recommended amount. During the fall you may add compost and leaves. Avoid fresh manure as it causes burns.
Growing rhubarb roots is recommended rather than seeds or seedlings. Roots will grow much faster. The space needs to be 24 to 50 inches. The rows need to be 4 feet apart. The crown needs to be a couple of inches below the surface.
The soil around the roots must be firmed up, but the ones around the bud must be loose. Apply a ¼ cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer. Get rid of the flower stalks when it appears. This is necessary only in the first year.
To harvest, slice the stalks around the soil line. You can take them out over a time frame of six weeks. The important thing to remember is not to harvest any during the first year of planting.
Tending at Home
Those growing rhubarb at home shouldn’t worry too much about insects or other diseases. These plants are very strong. The growing season is from April to September.
However it is possible to nurture and grow it at other times. Even when afflicted by frost, most can still be eaten. However you shouldn’t eat the rhubarb if the roots become soft.
Just to be safe, you shouldn’t consume any stalks with damage. Just slice them off. Add some compost and the new ones will appear. To prepare them for winter, grab the stalks from the frost. Put them in the compost and add another layer of compost above it.
If flower stalks keep appearing just slice them off, but you can keep them if the plant is for ornamental purposes.
What makes this ideal for growing is that it is strong. Even if you don’t tend to it regularly, the plant can thrive. That is one reason why growing rhubarb is popular among even busy gardeners.
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