How to grow rhubarb in a summer cottage and get a rich harvest
Growing rhubarb on your own plot is a task that any gardener can do. Buckwheat perennials provide natural nutrients in early spring. Some rhubarb varieties ripen quite early when other vegetables are not yet available..
See also the article: rhubarb benefits and harms to the male body!
A high-yielding vegetable, rhubarb, is a perennial plant in the buckwheat family. It was brought to Europe from East Asia. It tolerates cold well and gives high yields. The plant has fleshy roots and an erect stem, the height of which can reach 3 m. Large leaves of rhubarb sit on thick long petioles, which are eaten. For a good and high-quality harvest, growing rhubarb requires moist soil, but there is no need for constant light.
Rhubarb is similar in nutritional value to apples. The minerals and vitamins, pectin and organic acids contained in the plant are beneficial for humans. This vegetable has diuretic and laxative properties and is used to prevent vomiting, cleanse the liver and excrete bile. In May, when there are still no vegetables and fruits, rhubarb can already be used in salads, for making stewed fruit, jelly, kvass and wine.
There are several varieties of rhubarb, differing in the quality of the petioles (red and green) and the ripening time:
- Moscow 42;
- Tukumsky 5;
- Orgsky 13;
To use the vegetable longer, you should plant at least two varieties with different ripening periods in the garden.
There are two ways to propagate rhubarb:
- through seedlings grown from seed
- dividing roots
Planting and caring for rhubarb
When choosing a place for planting and nursing in the open field, the following properties of rhubarb should be taken into account:
- Rhubarb is a perennial plant, moreover, it does not require transplanting and does not tolerate it well, grows in the same place for 10-15 years, giving a good harvest.
- Tolerates planting in the shade, but grows fuller, more beautiful in sunny or slightly shaded places, and the stems taste better.
- The plant is hygrophilous, but does not tolerate waterlogging. Therefore, you should not plant it in low places where water can stagnate or near water bodies..
- Prefers fertile and loose soils with neutral pH. On sandy or clayey heavy soils, as well as acidic or alkaline, rhubarb will grow poorly.
Planting and caring for rhubarb is not particularly difficult. First, the breeding method is chosen.
Vegetative breeding method
Adult 3-4 year old healthy plants are used for vegetative propagation. It is not recommended to choose old bushes for propagation. Having carefully dug a bush, cut the root into several parts with a sharp knife, each of which should have at least 1-2 buds of growth. It is better to sprinkle the resulting damage on the rhizome with wood ash or activated carbon powder. You can not dig out the bushes and divide them right in the ground with a shovel. The separated parts of the plant are planted in spacious holes, covered with earth and pressed tightly, the growth bud should remain on the surface. It is advisable to pour a little humus or compost into the prepared holes before planting..
The division of the bush is carried out in the early spring, when the soil warms up a little, or in the middle of autumn, so that the plant can take root before the onset of cold weather.
Seed propagation is used to grow a new variety or plant for the first time.
From seeds, rhubarb is grown through seedlings, which are obtained from seeds pre-soaked before swelling. Germinate seeds under damp gauze or a rag, periodically moistening it. After sprouting about 2 cm in length, the seeds are dried and then sown. Seeds are planted in pre-moistened soil. On the fourth or fifth day after sowing, the first sprouts of rhubarb can be seen. The burial depth should not exceed 3 cm. When growing rhubarb, the consumption is up to 4 grams of seeds per square meter. Rhubarb is planted in rows at a distance of 25 cm. After the leaves appear on the shoots, they are thinned out. The distance between shoots should be approximately 20 cm.
In the future, care for seedlings consists in watering, if necessary, weeding, loosening, fertilizing with fertilizers. In autumn, seedlings up to 30 cm high with three to four leaves are obtained..
After winter, the seedlings are dug out for planting in holes at a distance of up to 1 m. The soil should adhere tightly to the roots of the planting material. In this case, it is recommended to lower the upper kidney under the ground by no more than two centimeters. If the soil is not wet, then the planting material is watered. In the future, rhubarb is watered (if necessary) and the arrows are removed. The soil is loosened and weeded. To obtain a good harvest, fertilizing with fertilizers is desirable. Fertilize the soil every 3-4 years, adding 1-2 buckets of organic matter per square meter.
Rhubarb can be damaged by pests (elephant, flea, bug) and diseases (ascochitis, gray rot).
Pesticides against diseases and pests can only be used after collecting cuttings for nutrition..
In order not to weaken the plant and get a stable harvest for a long time, it is advisable to harvest the crop (petioles) from the second year after planting. Harvesting takes place several times during the season. Cuttings are broken out at the base when their thickness reaches more than 1.5 cm and a length of 30 cm.In the first three years, the yield is 1-2 kg of petioles, and in the following years – up to 6 kg from one bush.