Growing Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Planting: Plant Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) in full sun to partial shade in moist, humus-rich soil. Space plants 3-4ft apart in rows 5-6ft apart, with the plants' crowns at soil level or no more than 2in below soil level.

Harvesting: Wait until the third season after planting to harvest stalks. Hold onto the base of the stalk near the soil and pull or twist off the stalk. Do not cut the stalks with a knife since this can carry diseases to other plants and allow entry points for pests. Harvest over a 4-week period in the third season.

In subsequent years, you may harvest for about 8-10 weeks. Allow at least half of a plant's stalks to remain to strengthen the plant's roots for the following season. Removing any flower stalks will also help maintain the plant's strength. Do not eat Rhubarb leaves, cooked or raw, because they contain oxalates, which in large doses can be toxic.

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