The Q&A Archives: Rhubarb Care

Question: I would appreciate any advise you could give in how to successfully grow rhubarb. We have been trying for three years to grow rhubarb with almost no success at all. We have purchased the best quality rhubarb plants, lots of compost and manure in top grade top soil, and still no success. Any advice would be helpful.

Answer: Rhubarb is generally a long-lived plant, so choose a sunny, well-drained site. Amend the soil with lots of organic matter by digging planting holes that are 3' wide and 3' deep (to accommodate future roots), and mixing the soil you removed with aged manure and compost. Refill each hole to within two inches of the top and set one crown in the center of each hole. Top off with the soil mix, tamp down well, and water thoroughly. Once the plants sprout, apply mulch to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds. Rhubarb needs moist soil, so be sure to apply water regularly all year around. If you're purchasing quality root divisions, planting them only two inches deep in a sunny site in good soil, and keeping them well-watered, you should be harvesting within two years of planting. Better luck with your next try!

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