Planting Rhubarb in the Home Garden

Planting Rhubarb in the Home Garden

Rhubarb is one of only two perennial vegetables commonly grown in Kansas -- and it’s a little more difficult to grow than asparagus. But if you like rhubarb pie, cobblers, tarts and cakes, it’s worth the extra effort.

Rhubarb is well adapted to cold winters and dry summers but it’s susceptible to crown rot and “wet feet” so it requires well-drained soil. K-State Research and Extension horticulturist Ward Upham says mid-March to early April is the typical planting time for rhubarb.

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If you plant rhubarb this season, don’t plan to eat it. Upham says there’s no harvest the first year and only a small harvest the second year.

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If you’re looking for a wide selection of rhubarb varieties, Upham says you’ll be disappointed.

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Upham says only the leaf stalk should be eaten because the leaf blade contains oxalic acid and is poisonous.

More information on growing and harvesting rhubarb can be found online by searching “Kansas State University Horticulture Information Center” and clicking on Horticulture Newsletter. The article on rhubarb is in the March 12th Newsletter.