Longing for Rhubarb and Apple Crumble? Rhubarb is enjoying resurgence in popularity and is a long term crop that will continue to produce year after year. Many recipes call for fresh rhubarb and a small space dedicated to this perennial ensures fresh produce is available most of the year. Rhubarb develops crowns and after a time will need to be divided throughout winter to ensure regeneration of the plant. If plants are starting to send up multiple flower stalks it’s a good indicator that they require dividing.
Quick tips for tasty Rhubarb:
- Rhubarb requires rich fertile soil that’s not prone to waterlogging in winter. Apply compost, sheep manure or soil improver to soil before planting. Mulch with composting mulch ensuring the crown is avoided or it will be prone to rotting. This will feed the soil as it breaks down.
- Regular application of PowerFeed for Tomatoes and Vegetables (50mL per 9 litres of water) every 2-4 weeks will develop strong stems and help intensify colour of stalks. Different varieties have varying colours of stems and colour usually intensifies as the plants mature.
- Rhubarb will wilt on hot days throughout summer in many areas of Australia; this is normal and will recover as the weather cools down again. Rhubarb plants will take as much water as you are willing to give them, but don’t need a lot to survive.
- Plant in a position that receives afternoon shade, to reduce reliance on water in summer.
- Remember that green Rhubarb stalks are just as tasty as the bright red ones.