Chop and Drop Rhubarb Mulch: Rhubarb leaves are poisonous.

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Chop and Drop Rhubarb Mulch

By Sashagirl
August 16, 2013

Don't pitch those freshly cut rhubarb leaves into the compost bin/pile. Instead, tuck those leaves up, under and around your rhubarb plants. They provide excellent mulch as well as extra nutrients for your plants.

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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Aug 15, 2013 10:39 PM CST
All parts of Rhubarb are toxic with oxalic acid, however it is the green leaves that should not ever be eaten. The leaves make a wonderful organic insecticide that wipes out aphids as it suffocates them. Please see here. http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Rhubarb-Garden-Spray
The poison in Rhubarb leaves is:
"Oxalates are contained in all parts of rhubarb plants, especially in the green leaves. There is some evidence that anthraquinone glycosides are also present and may be partly responsible. It is not clear as to the exact source of poisoning from rhubarb, possibly a result of both compounds. The stalks contain low levels of oxalates, so this does not cause problems."
However I Love rhubarb to eat normally, especially with a sprinkle of ginger and nutmeg. Nutmeg is known to reduce any oxalic acid in spinach and rhubarb.
Don't stop eating the stuff as it is wonderful and the leaves are used by some gardeners to put under potato's as they claim it stops potato blight. That has yet to be proved but they swear by it.
Kindest regards from across the Atlantic.
Neil.
Name: Paul
Allen Park, MI (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Canning and food preservation Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Roses Region: Michigan
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paulgrow
Aug 16, 2013 5:46 AM CST
I've composted my rhubarb leaves for years without any problems.
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Aug 16, 2013 6:51 AM CST
Dear Paul, I did not mention composting the leaves. Just eating them is not good for you at all; and oxalic acid is the main cause of gout!
I am just saying that the leaves have a great benefit to get rid of aphids and other pests, natures way. No unnatural chemicals at all, i.e. organically.
Plus if it does work to stop potato blight, is a good thing I think.
Kindest regards.
Neil.
[Last edited by NEILMUIR1 - Aug 16, 2013 7:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Angie
Mackinaw, IL (Zone 5a)
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BookerC1
Aug 16, 2013 6:25 PM CST
I've done that for years! I take a paring knife out to my rhubarb patch, to cut off the leaves and put them back under the rhubarb plants. My kids asked me why I pull the stalks to pick them, instead of cutting them off, when I have a knife right there. I can only say, "Because that's how my mother did it." Hilarious!

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