Rhubarb << Back to Gardening Tips


Rhubarb is hardy vegetable that prefers cool weather. Set rhubarb root divisions in the garden 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost date in spring or as soon as the soil can be worked. Rhubarb will take a year to begin harvest and four years to come to full harvest so planting time need not be exact. Rhubarb can be grown from seed but the plants will not grow true. Where summers are hot, stalks will grow thin and spindly; protect plants with shade cloth.

Plant crowns in spring as soon as soil is workable. Tuck plants into slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter. Rhubarb crowns require shallow planting, but because plants are such heavy feeders, you should dig planting holes at least a foot deep. Fill the hole with a mixture of well-rotted manure or compost blended with the soil you removed. Bring that nearly level with surrounding soil, so that your plant crowns are 2 to 4 inches deep.

Water newly planted crowns, and keep soil moist throughout the growing season. apply Blessings Blends OMRI-Listed Premium Compost (.5 – .5 – .4) for best results. Replenish mulch throughout the growing season as needed.

When you see flowers like these, cut them off at the base of the stalk immediately. They sap energy that should go into growing nice stalks for next year.

Remove flower stalks as soon as they emerge. Plants that flower make fewer stems the following year. You can extend the stem-harvesting season of established plants by making sure that they have adequate moisture and by removing flower stalks.