Planting, growing and caring for rhubarb outdoors, when to harvest and how to propagate

Planting, growing and caring for rhubarb outdoors, when to harvest and how to propagate

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One of the plants that can please in early spring with a vitamin set, pectin and organic acids is rhubarb. It is unpretentious, frost-hardy and, with the right approach, is capable of producing products from petioles almost all year round. The owner can pamper himself and the family with compotes, jelly, salads, when other vegetables in the garden are just beginning to sprout. And growing and caring for rhubarb does not require much effort and expense.

A brief description of rhubarb

Rhubarb (Rheum) is a perennial and member of the buckwheat family. The plant is large, reaches 3 m in height and is formed from a root rosette of leaves growing on long petioles. Thick, fleshy, reddish petioles are used for food. Their shape is cylindrical or multifaceted, reaching 4 cm in thickness.

The leaves are palmate-lobed, whole, rather large in size with serrated or wavy edges. The color is usually dark green with reddish veins. At the beginning of summer, flowering begins: a large paniculate inflorescence is formed with small flowers from white to red (depending on the variety). Later, the fruits are formed - triangular brown nuts.

Rhubarb can grow in all regions of our country, including Siberia and the Far East, since it tolerates cold well. Another distinguishing feature is its high shade tolerance. It grows in one place for up to 10 years and, expanding, forms dense thickets. But it needs a transplant, as the soil is depleted and the plant becomes shallow.

Reproduction is carried out by seedling and dividing the roots. Agricultural technology depends on the variety and biological characteristics of the plant, but does not present any particular difficulties for the vegetable grower.

Rhubarb stalks taste like a sour apple. In terms of the content of nutrients, they are also not inferior to this fruit. It is used as a medicinal product for a number of diseases.

Main varieties and varieties

Up to 50 varieties of rhubarb are known, most of which grow in their homeland - in Asia. Most vegetable growers are in favor of getting produce in early spring, when there is a lack of greens and vitamins. But in the fall, juicy petioles will come in handy for making homemade preparations. Based on this, a variety is selected. Most often grown:

  1. Altai dawns (early ripening) form a spreading rosette of leaves that sit on reddish petioles weighing 80-120 g. It has an excellent sweet-sour taste. Harvesting is done 30 days after the plant has started to grow.
  2. Large petiolate (early maturing) has a high yield, low susceptibility to diseases. It tolerates low temperatures well. The petioles are characterized by tender and sweet flesh with a slight sourness.
  3. Victoria (early maturing) refers to high-yielding varieties, which quickly grow petioles, reaching a mass of 200-250 g. Initially, they are red, but over time they become green. Forms peduncles early, they must be cut out immediately.
  4. Ob (mid-season) forms a large rosette of slightly corrugated leaves with pink petioles. They have a delicate sweet and sour taste. The cold-hardy variety tolerates excess moisture, but does not tolerate drought.
  5. Ogresky-13 (mid-season) forms a compact leaf rosette with dark green foliage. Weakly ribbed petioles are red in color and some specimens increase the weight of 300-350 g. The variety is resistant to shooting and forms few peduncles.
  6. Giant (late ripening) has an impressive appearance. Rhubarb with dark red petioles is large in size. The popularity of the variety is noted due to the late return of the harvest and excellent taste.

In order to collect juicy petioles during the summer, several varieties must be planted on the site, which have different ripening periods.

Combining rhubarb with other plants

Rhubarb grows well next to salads, representatives of cruciferous vegetables (cabbage), does not mind the neighborhood with spinach and beans. He is oppressed by the fruit and vegetable crops located next to it. For example, he is unfriendly to members of the nightshade family, radishes, onions, legumes, carrots and a number of other plants that live in the beds.

It is advisable to plant the bushes separately. And since the petiole culture loves partial shade, it will perfectly fit into the fence, close the area near the outbuildings or be located in a corner in a shaded corner of the garden.

Planting dates

The planting date is related to the breeding method. Many growers prefer the vegetative method, as the seeds can grow wild forms of rhubarb. Landing dates:

  • the plant reproduces by the rhizome in the spring-autumn period;
  • seeds are sown before winter, when the ground freezes;
  • seedlings are sown in March.

When dividing the rhizome, the harvest of delicate petioles will not take long, and the seedling method will allow you to get a bush 20-30 cm high, capable of overwintering normally.

Rhizome planting

How to choose a healthy mother bush in the country? For reproduction and subsequent cultivation, it must meet the following characteristics:

  • meet varietal qualities;
  • be large and strong;
  • be 4-5 years old;
  • form few peduncles.

There is no need to grow many plants. Usually rhubarb is not grown in large quantities; 2-3 bushes are enough for one family.

Preparing for landing

By the time of transplantation, the landing pits should be ready. Their size is approximately 50 × 50 cm, and the distance between the bushes is 50-70 cm. Young bushes can be planted in the autumn-spring period.

Rhubarb gives juicy petioles in fertile areas and grows in one place for a long time, therefore, they bring into the planting pits: 1 bucket of peat, 1 bucket of humus, 0.5 liters of wood ash mixed with earth.

When applying mineral fertilizers, the pits are prepared in advance so that the granules have time to dissolve and not burn the root system.

Rhizome division

The division procedure goes through several stages:

  • we shovel the earth from the bush;
  • we select part of the delenka with 2-3 kidneys;
  • cut it off from the main bush;
  • we plant the division on a new site.

It is not necessary to process the cut sites: rhubarb has good survival rate and grows quickly.

Landing options

Since the green culture prefers soil saturated with nutrients, the mixture of peat and humus is poured onto the bottom of the planting pit. A seedling is placed in the center, the roots are spread over the surface and covered with a small layer of peat soil. Next, add earth mixed with ash.

The embedding depth of the buds is about 3 cm. Rhubarb should be well buried without leaving the buds on the surface. After planting, shed and mulch the soil. In the early stages of growth, frequent watering is not necessary, since young bushes consume a little moisture.

Another planting option is when fresh manure is used instead of humus. It is placed at the bottom of the pit, covered with peat chips on top and the roots of the seedling are placed. From above they are covered with earth mixed with ash. The roots are not burnt, as there is a peat layer. Gradually, the manure decays and releases the nutrients. As in the first case, abundant watering and mulching are required.

Planting rhubarb seeds

Seeds are sown directly on the site before winter or used to obtain seedlings. In the first case, the seed does not need to be processed, since during the winter it undergoes stratification, is saturated with moisture and actively grows. But it will take 2 years to wait for full-fledged, adult plants.

The use of the seedling method is preferable, since it significantly reduces the growth time and obtaining petiole products. There is always a small, semi-shaded area in the garden where you can plant several specimens of rhubarb.

Seed preparation for sowing

Dry seeds can also be sown, but they germinate for 16-20 days. This period of time is significantly reduced if pre-processing is carried out:

  • pour melted or pure water into a small container, adding any growth stimulant (Epin, aloe juice);
  • keep the seeds in water for 48 hours and drain it;
  • lay out on a damp cloth and roll it up;
  • we leave for 10 days in the refrigerator at a temperature of 0, + 5C:
  • then leave in a warm place until germination.

The planting material treated in this way gives seedlings after a week. After sowing, seedlings appear in 8-12 days, that is, twice as fast as when sown with dry seeds.

Sowing in open ground

If sowing is done with germinated seeds, then the best time is the last days of spring. Rhubarb gives good and friendly shoots when the ground warms up to +16, + 20C. The soil is prepared in advance, into which they add 1 sq. M. 1-2 buckets of humus or compost and 0.5 liters of ash. For seeds, grooves up to 3 cm deep are prepared and planted after 3-5 cm.

When three real leaves appear, the seedlings are thinned out by placing the bushes at a distance of 20 cm from each other. After 1-2 years, when the plants become adults, they are planted according to the same principle as the delenki.

Early sowing can lead to the death of young seedlings, if there is a possibility of return frosts. The hatched leaves die at a temperature of -2, -6C.

Sowing seedlings

It is advisable to sow seeds in the second half of March, when the daylight hours are long enough. When growing seedlings, you should follow a few simple rules:

  • we prepare a loose and nutritious soil mixture or use a ready-made one;
  • when shoots appear, we put the box in a bright and cool place;
  • water and feed twice a month (for example, with Fertik Lux solution);
  • in the phase of 2 leaves, we plant them in cups;
  • a week before planting in the ground, we accustom the seedlings to natural conditions, gradually accustoming them to fresh air.

When the seedlings get stronger and get used to the natural environment, they are planted in the ground. Usually the planting date is the end of May, beginning of June.

Features of rhubarb transplant depending on the season

It is best to plant rhubarb in a new place in the fall a month before the cold weather comes or in early spring until the foliage begins to grow. These are the most convenient periods, since all the juices are collected in the roots and the leaves do not draw out nutrients and do not evaporate moisture. The roots at this time do not feed the plant and it tolerates transplantation painlessly.

In summer, the bush grows, photosynthesis and nutrition are taking place in the leaves, so the transplant is extremely difficult and rhubarb does not always take root, it is extremely sensitive to mechanical damage. At the same time, it will not work to grow a healthy bush.

Young bushes and seedlings are amenable to summer transplantation, which are transferred to a new site with a large clod of soil. They need regular watering and careful shading.

In the first year of planting, petioles must not be cut. The plant has not yet reached maturity and will weaken significantly if a few leaves are lost. Cutting is done only for 2-3 years of growth.

Rhubarb care

It is not difficult to care for the stalked culture. Traditional activities are carried out: watering, weed removal, top dressing, loosening. Additional ones include cutting of peduncles.

Fertilizing and fertilizing plants

It is enough to feed a green crop 3 times a season, since its fertilizer requirements are minimal. Rhubarb is responsive to organic fertilizing, of which the infusion of mullein (1: 5), chicken droppings (1:10) or nettle and weeds is most often used.

If necessary, add Kemira-universal complex fertilizer or nitrofosku. Ash, which is added dry during loosening before watering, is also suitable for these purposes. Application rate - 1 glass of ash per 1 sq. M.

Nitrogen fertilizers contribute to the growth of leaf mass, but they need to be applied in the spring, in the summer they contribute to the formation of peduncles.

Watering and weeding

Since the plant is powerful, it shades the soil and the weeds under it practically do not grow and there are no difficulties with a large amount of weed vegetation.

Rhubarb needs regular watering, without which fleshy petioles do not grow. With a moderately rainy summer, 3-4 waterings per season are enough, but they should be plentiful. Thanks to water, oxalic acid practically does not accumulate in the petioles.

Protection against diseases and pests

Rhubarb is practically not attacked by pests and rarely gets sick. In some cases, "raids" of buckwheat fleas or rhubarb bugs are observed. Of the diseases, the most dangerous are gray rot and downy mildew, which most often develop with thickened plantings.

For reliability, you can carry out a three-time treatment with Fitosporin, and use folk remedies for pests. If the disease is severe, then the plants should be removed and burned so that neighboring plantings do not suffer.

Harvesting rules

The crop can be harvested in the second year of growth in May-June with a petiole length of 20-25 cm. The first, earliest harvests are the most valuable, since they contain the greatest amount of nutrients. During the season, juicy stems are harvested several times until early August.

The petioles are not cut off, but carefully broken out so as not to damage the growth shoots. To do this, the petiole is scrolled several times and pulled out with a jerk downward, otherwise the rhizome will suffer. When harvested, the main rosette of leaves is left on the plant. This way the bush will not weaken or deplete.

Only fresh shoots of rhubarb are useful, and in mature ones there is a high concentration of oxalic acid, which is not useful for the body. Leaves and roots are not eaten.

If southerners have a lot of vitamin crops that produce products in early spring, then Siberians have little choice. In case of spring vitamin deficiencies, rhubarb stalks will help out perfectly, they can be cooked in soups, added to salads and compotes. And if there is a place for a couple of bushes on the site, then early vitamin products will not be long in coming.

Watch the video: How to grow Rhubard. Planting and Growing Rhubarb. Growing Rhubarb. Growing food. Permaculture (February 2023).