Questions? Write Me at

Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Rhubarb, One of Spring's First Fruits

New flower stalk (left) and new leaf bud (right).

I was out enjoying my yard last week and realized that my rhubarb is already starting to send up flower stalks!  Yikes, already!  Here is a friendly reminder to remove all flower stalks from your rhubarb throughout the growing season.  The 'fruit' portion of rhubarb is the petiole, or the stalk, of the leaf.  Flowers suck energy from the stores in the root which is where the energy comes to produce the 'fruit' leaves in the spring. 

I also realized that my rhubarb is ready to harvest.  (Is it really just the first of May?!?!)  When harvesting rhubarb, grab the leaf stalk close to the soil and pull up the whole petiole (stalk) and leaf.  Remove the leave portion and add it to your compost pile. You can remove up to about half of the leaf area from one plant at a time, but be sure to let the plant restore itself before you harvest again.  You can continue to harvest until the end of June and then you will need to leave it alone so the plant can spend the rest of the summer storing energy in its roots for next spring.

For more information on rhubarb here or in my Plant of the Week series.

Happy Gardening & Harvesting! :)

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