Rhubarb

Rhubarb

An old fashioned vegetable that should not be overlooked, the Rhubarb is an herbaceous perennial plant growing from short, thick rhizomes. They have large triangular shaped leaves with long fleshy stalks that vary from the commonly associated crimson red, through speckled light pink to simply greenish white. Although the leaves are toxic, various parts of the plants have medicinal and culinary uses.

In culinary use, fresh raw stalks are crisp, somewhat similar to that of celery, with a strong tart and refreshing taste. Rhubarb stalks are prized for its use in pies, tarts, sauces and various desserts.

  • Plant & Growing Tips:

    Rhubarb grows reasonably well in sub tropical environments, although does best in cool climates.

    The Rhubarb does not take very well to extreme heats with plant growth slowing when temperatures rise above 25oC along with suppressed reddening of the stalks.

    Crowns should be exposed during autumn so the plant can receive cold snaps which will trigger new plant growth.

    Rhubarb can be grown on a wide range of soil types, providing they are well drained, but it tends to do best in deep loams that are well supported with well rotted compost or manure.

    Regular irrigation is essential for the production of high-quality stalks. Deep rich red stalks that are over 30cm in length contribute to the highest yields and best returns.

    Rhubarb is considered fairly greedy when it comes to space. In full leaf, each plant can spread to approximately 2m in diameter.

    The plant should be kept in only two or three plants and if the rootstocks are divided into sets and replanted, the Rhubarb will continue to regenerate over and over.

    Proper divisions should be made by cutting through the crown between the buds leaving a piece of storage root material with each separate bud.

    Plant rhubarb sets in holes approximately 1m apart with the main bud just showing above the soil surface.

    When planting you should not completely bury them as they can become waterlogged and rot.

    Mulching is recommended during spring to reduce water evaporation as it helps keep moisture in the crowns.

  • Fertiliser Applications:

    Stage: Pre Plant

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 1¾-2 cups (350-400g)/m²

    Commercial Use: Up to 4.5kg/10m row

    Comments: Fertiliser should be worked carefully into the soil and around the crowns.

     

    Stage: Pre Plant  

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: ½ cup (100g)/m² 

    Commercial Use: Up to 1.2kg/10m row

    Comments: Side Dress can be applied four weeks after planting and because Rhubarb is such a heavy feeder it is to be continually applied every four weeks.

Disclaimer

Please note that the above information and recommendations are provided in good faith and are given without liability for loss or damage suffered as a result of their application. Optimum response to fertilisers will only be achieved when weeds, insect pests and diseases are controlled and adequate soil water is available.

Fertiliser use recommendations are presented as a practical guide to good agronomic practice under most situations. Local soil, climatic and other conditions should also be taken into account as these could affect plant response to fertiliser rates and applications.

For further information we recommend you seek advice from your local agronomist.