Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable famous for its tart-flavored pinkish-green stalks, though it’s used as a sweetened fruit in pies, tarts, and jams. Here’s how to plant, grow, and harvest your own rhubarb!
Rhubarb originally stems from Asia, but was brought to Europe in the 1600s and America not long thereafter. It thrives in areas with a cooler climate, making it popular in northern gardens. Rhubarb is easy to grow, but needs dormancy period to really thrive and produce an abundance of huge stalks.
The stalks are the only edible part of the rhubarb plant. These have a rich, tart flavor when cooked. The leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic—they contain an irritant called oxalic acid—so be sure that they are not ingested.
What’s wonderful about rhubarb is that it will produce for many years—five or more. For that reason, rhubarb should be planted in its own bed in any corner of the garden where it can grow undisturbed.
It grows well in soil enriched with plenty of well-rotted manure or compost, so some gardeners will even plant it near their compost bin!