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Post  bonnie0128 on Sun 21 Mar 2010 - 14:03

Does anyone know anything about Rhubarb? I think someone told me last year that it is too big for a typical SFG but I'm not sure. I'd like to grow some (if I can find it).
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Post  garlix on Tue 30 Mar 2010 - 1:53

Rhubarb really gets too big. I would not cramp it into a square foot garden. If you have the space, plant it separate. While square foot gardening is great, it's not for ALL plants.
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Post  ayanefan on Tue 30 Mar 2010 - 6:05

My dad grew HUGE stems of rhubarb; he took a box like the SFG boxes, placed it next to a barn to get partial shade and filled it with mostly compost and soil mixture. He threw in a couple of small transplants and by the 2nd year the box was full of rhubarb, he just let it go and watered it once in a while.
The box was probably 3x3 and it had an endless supply of rhubarb (well, almost).

Don't eat the leaves!
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Post  garlix on Tue 30 Mar 2010 - 6:11

Now that you mention boxes, I remembered something. Once the plants start growing, my grandma would put cardboard boxes without a top around the plants. Then they grew a bit taller trying to reach the sunlight. I don't know if that affects the taste or nutritional value of the rhubarb, but the pies and deserts always tasted great! I got two rhubarb roots that I need to plant. I just haven't decided on a spot yet.

If anyone has rhubarb recipes, it's never too early to start sharing and collecting them.
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Post  bonnie0128 on Tue 30 Mar 2010 - 6:47

Thanks for the info guys! I found a source today for rhubarb (it'll be ready in 1-2 weeks) so I'm very excited...although I've heard that you shouldn't harvest your first year?

I have no idea where I'm going to put it...but I'll find a place!

As for recipes...once I find the few I have, I'll post a thread in the recipe forum!
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Post  Shoda on Tue 30 Mar 2010 - 10:41

I actually planted rhubarb by our front door of our house (not a SFG). The plants look decorative and we have lots of rhubarb! Because the plant are pretty big and grow year round, I am not sure I would put them in a SFG unless you had some dedicated space.

Interesting note: Last year I pulled out some rhubarb because the stalks were not getting red. I thought perhaps I had grown the wrong variety. The new ones did the same thing as the ones before -- green stalks, very little red even though the variety said red.

After I did a little research I discovered that rhubarb likes cold winters and needs some cold in order to turn red. So, here in my yard in California, I have lots of green stalked rhubarb.

One more note, rhubarb is a heavy feeder and needs good soil or fertilizer.

Good luck!
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Post  mtgrl788 on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 19:06

So if I were to plant rhubarb I'd probably have to plant it in a separate 4x4 box or what size box would be recommended?
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Post  HouseofWool on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 19:09

I just planted a spindly little rhubarb this week. I just stuck it in a large pot filled with MM figuring that I can always transplant into a bigger area once I figure out where I want it to go. Hopefully it will take.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 19:20

We grow rhubarb here on Yankton Mountain...Good Lord do we grow rhubarb! Don't know the variety, but it's one with great red stalks. We call it Big Mama, because it is huge. It's been grown in the row garden for the last 10 years, getting bigger, and bigger every year. I've divided it three or four times, and given away starts, and Big Mama thrives on the attention. Regime for rhubarb growing: In the early fall, when it looks like Big Mama's getting ready to die back for winter (it does a winter die back here in Oregon), I dump a half bag of good chicken or steer manure compost on her. In the early spring when I see the first sign that Bib Mama is starting her spring growth, she gets the second half of the bag, or another variety of compost, depends on what's going into the other beds. After the first three leaves are out, I sprinkle some Sluggo into the center to discourage slugs (Oregon slugs are voracious in early spring). That's it, unless you count searching the internet for rhubarb recipes to use up all the rhubarb. Enjoy, Nonna
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Post  Esther on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 19:46

When planting it, it needs at least a 3x3 it goes 2 ft deep in the ground and spade in your manure. if thers no source of animal manure, work in compost and a pint of compleat fertilizer under each plant. Set the plant with its crown level with the ground and back fill with good compost, setting it with your hands. My mon always put a layer of old manuner in bottom and than filled with good compost and the sides keep it in. They like shad and morning sun, a well draining soil. They make great food and the flowers are pretty. But dont eat the leaves. I also use brocken egg shells not to ground up cause the slugs dont like them, if you crush them to find they can just go on over them.

First year dont harves at all, second year pull off a few; by third year you can harvest all. When you start getting smaller stalks, its time to divide.
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Post  westie42 on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 19:53

This link to the rhubarb compendium was listed in another thread earlier. It has plenty of info and a lot of recipes. http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/
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Post  HouseofWool on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 20:31

Great link Westie!
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Post  Aub on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 22:30

I wouldn't put it in MM. When you go to pull a stalk out it will end up pulling the whole thing out of the box.
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Post  garden girl on Sun 10 Jul 2011 - 23:59

Interesting to hear how rhubarb does in different areas of the country, and perhaps because of different varieties.

My dad brought me a start from his several years ago. I didn't know much of anything about gardening at the time, so I just stuck it in a spot in the "garden" without adding anything at all that I remember. It survived, and now is huge. I seldom do anything to it at all - it thrives even on little water, on a very exposed, south facing part of the lot where it gets beaten up by both sun and wind. Nothing seems to bother it!! The only trouble I have is that some critter doesn't know the leaves are poisonous - all leaves near the ground, and many that are more upright get nearly shredded. But that doesn't stop it's production and vigor. I grow WAY more than I can use, so at least my friends don't have to buy any at farmers markets, etc.

I have no idea what variety my dad gave me, and I've never divided it, although I'm sure I should! I live in hot, dry, and windy south-central Washington.
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Post  JustMe on Mon 11 Jul 2011 - 0:09

@mtgrl788 - I have two rhubarb plants and an Earth Machine 80 gallon compost bin in one 4x8 box. They are growing in whatever soil was in there and have been doing well for two seasons. HTH.


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Post  stripesmom on Mon 11 Jul 2011 - 7:00

I did the same as garden girl. I got a start off my father in laws and just stuck it in the ground. This soil is hard and like clay. The first year, my husband thought it was dying, so he mowed it off. This year, the second year, it's huge. I'm letting it be and told the old man not to mow it off this time. I do water it occasionally, but that's all. Maybe I'll give it a shot of Miracle Grow next time I think about it.
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Post  mtgrl788 on Mon 11 Jul 2011 - 20:22

Thank you guys. I love rhubarb. I make this pie/cake jello mixture and it's amazing. Usually made with strawberries and rhubarb but i like it on the sour side!
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Post  westie42 on Mon 11 Jul 2011 - 20:48

Rhubarb has to be one of the most under utilized and under appreciated vegetables in the garden. what else can become drinks from punch to wine, desserts from cookies to pies, cakes and cobblers, soups hot or cold used with other vegetables and meats. It’s use is so versatile. Dr. Oz touts it as a cancer preventer, herbalists have used it in medicines or just as a tonic. This site http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/ should be required study before gardening can begin.
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