Rhubarb is a perennial plant with developed roots and strong leaves on powerful long cuttings. Stems in rhubarb are bare, tubular and tall. During the flowering period, this crop can sometimes reach a height of more than 2 m. The rhubarb, which flourished with small yellow flowers, is an excellent honey plant that attracts the attention of many insects pollinating and other plants on the site.
The stalks of rhubarb have a refreshing and pleasant taste due to the fact that it contains many organic acids. In addition, rhubarb includes vitamins A, B, C, PP, minerals, pectin and fiber. But the main benefit of this plant is that the human body receives all these useful elements in that period of time when other vegetables and fruits are not yet ripe.
Rhubarb is quite drought - and a cold-resistant plant, its seeds can germinate at a temperature of + 2-3 degrees, and the leaves grow at + 4-10 degrees. The most optimal temperature for normal growth and development is + 15-18 degrees. If it exceeds this limit, then oxalic acid will accumulate in the petioles of the plant, and it will begin to lose its beneficial properties.
The cuttings are formed 15-20 days later after the frosts go away. After the leaves have been picked from the plant, new ones grow on it within 7-15 days, thus, it gives new shoots for 40 to 60 days. In the period of release of arrows, flower stalks should be removed so that the performance of rhubarb does not decrease.
Rhubarb: how to grow?
- All varieties of rhubarb can grow in the shade, but more actively this process will occur in sunny areas. The best soil for it is moisture-absorbing loamy, enriched with organic matter. In the 1st place this plant can grow up to 10 years, so the soil before planting should be prepared properly.
- From autumn, the soil needs to be dug up to a depth of about 25-30 cm. At the same time, per 1 sq. M. meters of soil should be made from 8 to 10 kg of organic fertilizers, suitable peat compost or manure. And during the spring digging, 30 g of ammonium nitrate, 60 g potassium salt and 70 g super-phosphate per square meter are applied. m. of land.
- This plant is propagated by seed or vegetative method - by dividing the rhizomes of 4-5 year old crops.
Planting rhubarb: features
From seeds, rhubarb is grown through seedlings, for this they should be sown in early spring in rows at intervals of 25 cm. The seed rate is 1 square meter. m. - 3-5 g. Shoots will appear already 8-12 days after the seeding procedure itself. Between plants, the distance should be equal to 10-15 cm. During the growing season of the plant, the soil between the rows should be pierced 2-3 times, weeded and watered the shoots.
As soon as buds are formed, and this usually occurs in the second year of growth, at about the end of March - the beginning of April, the culture should be dug up. Next, you need to choose the best specimens, depending on the number of thick and long cuttings or large buds and a well-developed root system. After that, you can transplant the plant to a permanent place of growth.
When breeding rhubarb by dividing the bushes, selected in early spring should be dug. The roots are separated with a knife in such a way that each seedling has 1-2 growth buds, and the root system is well developed. Rhizomes separated by this method should be planted immediately in the ground. From the 1st bush can get about 5-7 seedlings.
Usually rhubarb is planted either in spring or at the end of summer. Seedlings obtained from seedlings or cuttings should be placed in the holes dug out with a shovel according to the 90 x 90 cm scheme, and 2 copies should be planted in each hole at once. It is also important to carefully monitor that the upper bud on the plant stem is covered with earth no more than 1-2 cm, and the soil is compacted at the roots. If the ground moisture level during planting is low, the ground should be shed.
Rhubarb: planting and care in the open ground
In order to get an early harvest of the plant, many gardeners cover it with a special cap that looks like a large upturned ceramic pot with a hole in the top. Through this hole the upper shoots receive light, in contrast to the stems, which later grow more tender and less fibrous. Grown this way rhubarb will be ready to eat earlier than usual for a month.
Culture will develop beautifully in the far corner of the garden, and over time forms a whole colony of individual plants. By the way, such colonies will need to be periodically divided. The division, like the transplant itself, should be done during the cold season, when the development of the bush slows down. After transplantation, the root system will take root in a new place. Rhubarb, grown by planting seeds, will begin to give fruit only a few years later.
Fertilize the plant should be in early spring, with the help of rotted manure. Excessive nitrogen content in the summer will lead to unnecessary flowering. In the spring after fertilization, as well as in late autumn, when the leaves die off, the plant must be mulched using garden compost, leaf humus or other organic materials. This contributes to the preservation of moisture and heat in the soil, and also becomes an obstacle to the growth of weeds.
When carrying out mulching in spring, the rosette of leaves of the plant should be left open, and in the fall - on the contrary: fall asleep (this will create favorable conditions for wintering rhubarb). If the purpose of growing crops is to collect fruits, then when forming arrows, they should be immediately cut off. And the flowers, though they decorate the appearance of the plant, but at the same time make its harvest weaker.
It is possible to harvest crops from the 2nd year of disembarkation, but quite a bit. In the next years of development, when the plant is already well rooted in the seat, its shoots can be collected during the spring and summer, but it is impossible to bare the bush completely. When harvesting you need to carefully separate the stalks from the base.
There is no need to wait until the stalks become as thick as possible - medium sized petioles are much tastier and softer than thick ones. And also for 1 time you should not collect more than half of all shoots from the 1st plant. Immediately after the crop was harvested, the plant should cut the leaves, because they are toxic, because they contain a lot of oxalic acid.
Rhubarb - unpretentious when grown plant. Planting it is easy, but the harvest can be harvested throughout the spring-summer season. To get especially tender and tasty shoots, you can use some tricks of cultivation or just follow the terms of their collection.