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Rhubarb is a deliciously tart, fruity tasting vegetable. It requires a little patience to grow as harvesting takes place from the second year however once established, you'll be harvesting this tasty crop for up to 8 years!
Rhubarb may take time to grow but there's very little work required in helping it along. Choose a spot that's going to be suitable long term, part shade will be ideal. Rhubarb like moist, rich soil with plenty of organic matter. Enrich soil with a good quality compost, Baileys Soil Improver Plus contains compost and manure that will encourage strong and healthy growth. If you have very sandy soils, use Baileys Clay & Compost.
If growing in pots or tubs, choose Baileys Veg & Herb Premium Planting mix.
Seedlings can be planted year-round but crowns must be planted in the cooler months while they are dormant. Plant so that the roots are under the soil, but the eye (from where the shoots will emerge) is at ground level, press the soil around the roots in firmly.
Maintenance & Harvest
Rhubarb are heavy feeders, Baileys Soil Matters Garden contains all essential macro and micronutrients, and a biological coating which encourages strong root growth, feed now and then again in growing season and water well.
Weed regularly, Rhubarb they don't like to be overcrowded or compete for water. Adding a layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing.
Avoid harvesting the stalks in the first year, this will give the plant time to establish and give you bigger yields in years to come.
Once the stalks reach a good size you can harvest your first crop, hold the stalk firmly and pull it down away from the plant. Leave some stalks on the plant so it keeps growing. The leaves of Rhubarb are toxic to people and animals so discard them or pop them in your compost.
Cooking with Rhubarb
You do need to plan ahead with Rhubarb but it's worth the wait! Rhubarb is sour but when balanced with sweetness it has an amazing flavour and can be delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. You can stew, roast or bake rhubarb, it can be added to cakes, jams, pies and crumbles.
Photo credit @thelastfoodblog