Rhubarb (Rheum rhaphonticum) or commonly known as “pieplant” is a member of the buckwheat family and is considered a hardy plant. It is a perennial plant a good flavors in stuffing for meat and fish and for other preserves dishes.
It grows well in well-drained soil rich in organic compost with enough water supply during its growing period. Prefers a warm climate, rhubarb responds favorably with at least 5 – 7 full sunlight during the day.
Before planting, you need to prepare the soil, make a plots, pulverize the soil for easy cultivation. Make holes 1.5 feet deep and 3 feet wide in the rows with a distance of 3 feet by 6 feet between rows. Fill your holes with enrich compost add a handful of bone meal to increase your soils phosphorous deficiency.
Once your plots are ready, set the crowns on the holes 2 inches below the soil and cover the hole with soil slightly higher the soil surface below the plant base.
Put some mulch to maintain the moisture in the soil especially during spring and fall. You can use your grass clippings, rice straw, saw dust, rice hull, or whatever is available in your country as mulching materials. Don’t cover the crown with the mulch to avoid some crowns to rot.
If you plant them in containers, prepare the soil mixture or you can buy them from your local agriculture store. Fill the container with the soil mix and plant directly the plants into the filled containers. The same procedure is made out in the field.
During its growing period, you’ve to supplement the plant’s nutrition requirements by putting some additional compost in the plots to maintain the fertility of the soil.
Although rhubarb is a hardy plant, there is a minor pests that bothers its growth pattern. The rhubarb curculio, a yellow-gray beetle damages the stalks and crowns and they bore holes on the stem and lays their eggs inside.
To control this beetle, just simply destroy curly dock, a weeds that serves as a host plant. If you see some in your garden, simply hand pick them and crush them to death.
Rhubarb is ready for harvest when they’re in full size and you can harvest at least 6 pounds from a full size plant. For home consumption this is enough for your family, but, if you intend to sell some extra harvest let them grow bigger to its full growth potential.