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Is rhubarb more of a "spring crop" or can it be harvested throughout the summer? Here's a pic of a massive bunch of rhubarb I have growing in the back of my garden. Where it is, it gets sun until at least 5pm.
Last year, I harvested a portion of our rhubarb every couple of weeks, starting around the first of May, and for about 6 weeks or until the heat started to suppress the plant. With larger and well-established plants, you can harvest for up to 8 weeks, perhaps longer if your summers are cooler than ours. :)
Rhubarb is one of the earliest crops, but you can keep it going for many weeks. I harvest the older stalks and that keeps the middle growing new ones. Pull the stalk out by grabbing it with both hands close to the plant and pulling in the direction it grows and it will "unplug" from the plant, usually without breaking. Last year I was still harvesting rhubarb in late August. Keeping it well watered is the key. My rhubarb gets a few shovelfulls of manure or compost in the fall after it dies back, this serves as a mulch and then feeds the plant when growth starts. Your summer high temps are consistantly lower than mine so you should get a long harvest.
The Rhubarb Compendium is a collection of rhubarb information from many sources. It contains almost anything you ever wanted to know about Rhubarb. I hope you will enjoy this and book mark it as a favorite.
I just received a rhubarb start from gurneys. I was shocked to see it had large patches of green mold on it, was badly shrivelled and had large holes. I posted a picture, can anyone tell me if this thing looks like it will grow? I've always been able to get the actual plants from friends so have never seen anything that looked like this!
It looks bad, but it doesn't surprise me since that company does not have a good reputation. I have ordered seeds and plants from them in the past, the seeds were ok, but the plants were either mislabeled or DOA, even the replacement plants they sent were bad, so I just don't do business with them at all anymore. Check the Davesgarden Watchdog for information on mail order companies before you order, you will save a lot of time, trouble and aggravation.
Well, I saw the comments on the Watchdog but I have never had a problem with Gurneys. The other plants in the shipment were fine. The butterfly bush was packaged in it's own little pot with a high side to protect the stems. I would still order from them I just wanted to know if anyone had ever gotten a rhubarb start that looked like that and if it would grow.
dragonfly...if it is not really spongy where the mold is it should be fine. If it is surface mold you can gently rinse it off.
(Course now, when you plant it that will also cut off the air that the mold needs to live so that should stop it from progessing.)
To update my note, the first rhubarb didn't come up so Gurneys sent another which was in the same bad shape. I planted it about a month ago and nothings showing. Sigh! I really wanted the Valentine but Miller Nurseries didn't offer it which is why I purchased from Gurneys.
I harvest my rhubarb all season, and about halfway through I do give it a shot of liquid fertilizer like fish oil. It is growing hard so needs fertilizer. in the fall once it has frozen back, I add compost to the bed and mulch it with straw until spring.
Here is a knock your socks off rhubarb recipe:
This pie recipe was the first place winner for a single crust pie division in Narvon, PA. Was developed by KATIE BELLER
CRUNCHY TOPPED FRENCH-
RHUBARB PIE FILLING:
1 cup sugar
1 teas vanilla extract
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
2 TBS flour
1 c quick cooking oatmeal
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c softened butter
1/3 c chopped nuts
½ tea cinnamon
Mix filling ingredients together
And pour into a unbaked pie shell
Mix topping ingredients together and
Sprinkle over filling
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 mins
Then lower the temp to 350 for 30 mins or more
until pie is done
You know, I HATE IT when people tell me that they JUST LOVE "Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie." I really enjoy the straight Rhubarb, and consider that any "filler" like strawberries just mucks up that pristine, incredible taste. Are you with me? Of course, my family is from West Virginia, and boy do they know about Rhubarb! Thanks for the recipe - this is my first year of being able to harvest my own Rhubarb so it will come in very handy. But I alos love Rhubarb "stewed" in some Tapioca and sugar and Vanilla on the stove...great over Vanilla Ice Cream!
Uh oh gotta go and check my Rhubarb a'growin' in my garden...!
I'm for straight up rhubarb, too. The stewed rhubarb w/tapioca is also a fav. Not sure If I can have a rhubarb patch here in Texas but I'll probably get around to trying once I get the asparagus established. Learing to take things one step at a time...
I have to add something here. It seems that Rhubarb is fairly controversial, concerning actually KNOWING about it and EATING it. You know? Well, a few years ago, I traveled to Germany, where, lo and behold, they not only KNOW about Rhubarb, but they embrace it in alot of their recipes!
You just cannot imagine my delight when I found, in many pastry shops, Rhubarb used in abundance. I honestly believe that I ate my my through Germany!
Yep, Germany is FOR ME! LOL!
I finda feel that knowing and enjoying Rhubarb is almost like having a family secret/skeleton in the closet, as it were...the reaction I often get whenever this subject comes up, and it is not often...!