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How to Grow Rhubarb

Fun fact; many people think that rhubarb is a fruit because it is often paired in desserts or jams, however it is in fact a perennial vegetable. Rhubarb is great to add to your vegetable garden and it is very easy to grow, you just have to be patient. What I love about rhubarb is that because it is a perennial vegetable, that means that I can expect delicious rhubarb every summer.

Rhubarb Plant

How to grow rhubarb?

This vegetable typically grows best from a cutting of another stalk, because growing rhubarb from seed can take much longer.

However, if you do decide to grow it from seed, this is how to do so.

  1. Sow the seed indoors in the early spring and once it starts to get warmer you can move it outside.
  2. Choose a nice and sunny spot in your garden if you are in zone 6 or lower, but if you are in a zone above 8, plant them in a more shady area. To learn which gardening zone you live in, click here.
  3. You want to sow it 1 inch deep and these plants can get pretty big so plan accordingly and don’t plant them too close together.
  4. The ideal pH should be 6.0 and to test the soil you can use an at home soil testing kit.
  5. Once it gets cool outside in the fall, this vegetable will go dormant, but it is just preparing for a nice spring bud.
  6. It is likely it will be two or three years before it is ready for harvest. However, at least wait a year after planting to harvest.
harvested rhubarb on table

How to harvest rhubarb?

Your rhubarb should be ready to harvest around mid summer and there are two ways that you can harvest this vegetable.

  1. You can cut the bottom of the rhubarb plant with a sharp knife.
  2. You can also tilt the rhubarb over and gently twist and turn the bottom of the stalk till it breaks off.

Harvesting Tips:

  • Right after harvesting the rhubarb, make sure to cut off the leaves of the vegetable because it is not edible.
  • Remember to never harvest all of your rhubarb at once!
rhubarb in garden

What can I make with rhubarb?

Rhubarb is known for its beautiful pink colored stalks and its tart flavor. However, the leaves of this vegetable aren’t edible, so make sure you remove them before using this vegetable. Here are a few of my favorite things to make with my freshly grown rhubarb.

  • Strawberry rhubarb pie
  • Cherry rhubarb jam
  • Rhubarb muffins
  • Rhubarb upside down cake
rhubarb upside down cake

The great thing about rhubarb is that it tastes good in almost any pastry or dessert you can think of. Even though it is technically a vegetable, it brings a delicious and unique flavor to so many desserts.

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