I love rhubarb season, it marks the season of delicious fresh homegrown food! As we begin harvesting the first bit of rhubarb, here are some thoughts on the top FAQs about rhubarb.
1. Are rhubarb leaves really poisonous?
Yes, rhubarb leaves are really poisonous. High levels of oxalates and anthraquinone glycosides that are present in rhubarb leaves are believed to be the culprits. Check out The US National Library of Medicine for more information about the toxicity of rhubarb.
2. Can I put rhubarb leaves in my compost?
3. How do I know when my rhubarb is ready to harvest?
4. What’s the proper way to pick rhubarb?
5. Can I harvest rhubarb in the summer and fall?
6. Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable?
7. How do I care for my rhubarb plant?
- add compost or well aged manure around your rhubarb in fall or first thing in spring
- remove dead leaves and add a thick layer of mulch on top of the plant in late fall, remove mulch in spring
- provide water if it’s a dry spring
- remove the seed stalk that appears late spring, it will prolong the harvest season by keeping stalks tender
- rhubarb loves sunlight but does not like heat – it will do best in a sunny location, but don’t expect it to do much of anything in the hot summer sun
For more information on planting rhubarb check out Canadian Gardening.
If you’re looking for tasty rhubarb recipes and how to preserve rhubarb for use throughout the year, the Prairie Fruit Cookbook is your go to guide. Or try some of these…
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