Rhubarb-harvesting - Knowledgebase Question

Danvers, MA
Question by roman32
November 2, 1997
I purchased MacDonald rhubarb thinking it would turn red.
Reading your Q & A, I now know it won't. Is it edible as green? How can I tell when it s ripe. It's in its third year.


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Answer from NGA
November 2, 1997

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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.

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