Rhubarb

(Rheum rhabarbum) Rhubarb is a Central Asian native that has been grown in Europe for centuries, for medicinal and food use. It is a relatively long-lived perennial (10-15 years) in USDA zones 4-8. Rhubarb is happiest in cooler summers with cold winters, but can be grown in warmer climates with some afternoon shade. Rhubarb beds should be planned out ahead of time, as they will remain in ground in the same place for many years. Also be sure to amend the soil with plenty of well-rotted compost, as the plants require rich soil. Seeds are started indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost and transplanted to their final location after frost has passed. Soak seeds for a few hours between sheets of damp paper towel before sowing. Sow seeds 1/4-1/2 inch deep. Seeds germinate in 7-21 days. Ideal germination temperature is 60-75F. Space seeds 36 inches apart. Rhubarb requires rich soil and ample moisture. Harvest the succulent stalks starting the second year. Side dress with good quality compost every year -- rhubarb is a heavy feeder!

COOK IT! Rhubarb Recipes HERE

GROW IT! Rhubarb Growing Tips HERE

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