Must Know Plant Care Tips: Rhubarb requires well-drained soil but does need regular watering. When planting, space rows 2 to 3 feet apart, with individual plants 1 to 2 feet apart. Each plant will use about 1 square yard of garden space. Don’t plant them deep — just 1 or 2 inches below the soil. When flower stalks appear, remove them as soon as possible as they tend to rob the rest of the plant of required nutrients. Avoid harvesting rhubarb during its first year; this will allow the plant maximum growth. Starting with the second year, harvest young leaves once they expand outward but grasping the stalk and pulling or cutting them off. Thereafter, you can harvest stalks of about 1 inch in diameter for up to 2 months.
Plant Problem Solver: Cool temperatures are great for rhubarb. Plant it where the temperature will drop below 40 degrees F over the winter. Summer temperatures of 75 F or lower will allow it to thrive into your harvest. If you want a perennial vegetable that comes back year after year with little trouble, rhubarb is a great choice. It may be best planted along garden edges, so its size doesn’t interfere with other vegetables in the spring. Divide your rhubarb plants every 6 to 8 years, when the stalks start to grow thinner due to crowding.
Pretty Pairings: Great companions for rhubarb include garlic, onions, kale, cabbage, broccoli, and turnips.