The Q&A Archives: Question From Gardener's Supply

Question: Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 10:18:03 -0400
Subject: Gardener's Q and A [T200005070022Z37515]
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Tracking Number : T200005070022Z37515
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Date : 5/7/00 10:19 AM

Forwarded by: David Grist

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Question recieved from:
Diana Bruesewitz
Joliet, Illinois 60435
County: Will
Country: USA
Mailing list (nothing means 'no'):

Category: Vegetables
I planted "Canadian Red" rhubarb last year for my first try at rhubarb.
It's huge and has flowered. How much should I harvest the first year and
is it normal for rhubarb to flower?

Answer: Rhubarb can be picked, and enjoyed as soon as it presents itself to you! I'd wait until the leaves are getting good sized. Immature rhubarb has smaller leaves, but is wonderfully tender and flavorful. So, when the leaves are there and the stems are approximately 6-15 inches long, go ahead and grab that stem close to the base and twist it until it breaks off close to the crown. Use only the stems; remove the leaves as they are toxic! The discarded leaves make great additions to the compost.

Yes, it is normal for rhubarb to eventually flower....this is called going to seed and usually happens late in the season.

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