If you've ever wanted to grow rhubarb, now is the time to get planting. Pick up a bare-root rhubarb plant from the local nursery and plant it in well tilled soil so that the crown is 2 inches below the soil level. Put it in a sunny spot that has plenty of grow room (the plant can reach four to five feet across when fully grown).
Rhubarb likes a sunny spot to produce the most stems (the leaves aren't edible but are excellent for composting), and more stems means more delicious rhubarb goodies such as rhubarb-strawberry pie, rhubarb jam, rhubarb-strawberry crisp, and rhubarb bars. See recipe ideas at the bottom of this post.
Mulch rhubarb through the growing season with a 2-inch layer of well-rotted compost, straw, or bark, and replenish to keep a consistent thickness.
Each fall after stems die back, remove the leaves and mulch generously with chopped leaves or compost.
The first year you won't harvest any stems, but you will be able to minimally in the second year and full on in the third year.
1. dig a deep hole, then backfill with soil. Plant the bare root rhubarb with roots down and crown 2 inches below the soil line.
2. Fertilize plants in spring with a standard plant fertilizer.
3. No flowers allowed! Remove flower stalks as soon as you spot them. Plants that flower produce fewer stems the following year.
4. To pick rhubarb, grab stems near the base and "snap/pull' upward, twisting slightly as you pull. Use a fast, crisp action and they should snap right off. Be sure you grab very near the base of the stem. You can also use a scissors to cut the stems close to the crown.
5. Wait a year after planting to harvest. The second year, pick only a few stalks. The third year and beyond, harvest freely.
Click here for Rhubarb Desserts Recipes