Rhubarb: planting and care in the open field is a topic of interest to many gardeners. A perennial plant from the Buckwheat family brings juicy and quite tasty petioles that can be eaten. In order to successfully grow rhubarb in your own area, you need to know how to plant and care for a plant.
Popular varieties and types of rhubarb
There are many varieties of rhubarb with a photo and description, suitable for growing in the garden. Among the most popular varieties, several can be listed.
Victoria is an early maturing variety, the petioles of which can be removed as early as 36 days after germination. The variety was introduced to the State Register in 2004, has a cherry at the base and green skin along the entire length, brings petioles weighing up to 80 g with a yield of about 4.8 kg per meter of planting.
Malachite is an early ripening variety of 2008 with petioles ripening 39 days after germination, has green leaves in a vertical rosette, the skin and flesh of the petiole is green. The petiole weighs about 200 g, the yield can be up to 12 kg per meter of land.
Beauty is a mid-season variety with a petiole ripening period of 42 days, has petioles with red skin and pink pulp with an average weight of up to 150 g. The yield of the variety is up to 3.5 kg per meter of planting. The rhubarb of this variety appeared in the State Register in 2006.
Altai Dawns is a very early variety registered in 2001, the petioles of which can be cut off as early as 23 days after germination. The peel of the petioles is red, and the flesh is green, the average weight of one petiole is 120 g, and from a meter of planting you can harvest up to 4.2 kg.
Candied - a variety entered in the State Register in 2006, gives petioles with red skin and pink flesh 25 days after germination. The average weight of the petioles is 200 g, about 3.5 kg can be harvested from a meter of vegetable garden.
The choice of a rhubarb variety depends solely on the preferences of the gardener; if desired, several plant varieties can be bred on the site at once. The reproduction algorithm and the rules for caring for the crop are approximately the same regardless of the variety, the varieties of rhubarb differ only in the timing of cutting ripe petioles.
How rhubarb reproduces
There are 2 ways to propagate a garden crop - by seeds and by dividing an adult plant into parts. Each method has its own advantages.
- Seeds are used in cases when planting rhubarb in the garden is planned for the first time, or the gardener wants to grow a new, as yet unknown variety.
- Dividing a bush is practiced if there is already an adult rhubarb on the site, and it is necessary to increase the number of bushes of the same variety. It is convenient to grow rhubarb from a bush because a new plant brings the first harvest in the year of planting or the next season.
The choice of planting method depends on the experience of the gardener and on the climatic and soil conditions, it is impossible to say unequivocally which method of propagation of the culture is better.
How to grow rhubarb from seeds
Gardeners have to grow rhubarb from seeds when they first meet a plant or when planting on a plot of an unfamiliar variety. Although the main disadvantage of the method is that the harvest will have to wait longer than when dividing the bush, planting with seeds also has its own advantages.
First of all, it is a very simple process that even a novice gardener can handle. In addition, seeds can be grown in 2 ways at once, in a container for seedlings or immediately in the open field. Rhubarb has good frost resistance, so it tolerates planting directly into the soil.
Growing rhubarb seedlings
Most often, gardeners resort to the classic agricultural technique of growing rhubarb - planting seeds in containers for seedlings. It is very easy to grow a culture using this method, but here, too, you need to know the basic rules.
When to plant rhubarb seedlings
You can plant rhubarb seeds from late February to early April. The optimal time is mid-March, since the seedlings of the culture appear quite quickly, with early planting, you may be faced with the fact that the rhubarb will not have enough daylight.
Preparation of containers and soil
The germination of seeds and the health of seedlings largely depend on the quality of the soil and on the choice of containers.
- You can grow rhubarb in peat pots and seedling boxes, in containers made of wood and plastic, in special glass micro-greenhouses made of durable glass.
- Each of the options has its own advantages, for example, a micro-greenhouse will provide the necessary temperature conditions, and a peat pot will serve as an additional fertilizer for seedlings.
It is worth choosing a container based on your own preferences. But in any case, the container for seedlings should be roomy enough to be able to plant a large number of seeds with an indent between them.
Particular attention must be paid to soil preparation. It is necessary to grow a plant in nutritious and loose soil, usually sod soil and humus are mixed for planting seeds with the addition of potash fertilizers and superphosphate.
Attention! For any seedlings, including rhubarb, contaminated soil is of great danger. Before planting the seeds, it is recommended to freeze the prepared soil, treat it with steam or a solution of potassium permanganate, even if the soil becomes a little poorer, this will cause less damage than possible pathogenic bacteria.
How to plant rhubarb seeds
Planting rhubarb seedlings in spring provides for the advance preparation of seed material.
- 4 days before the planned planting, the seeds are placed in a shallow container, poured with cool water and left to swell for 8-10 hours.
- After that, for 1 hour, the seeds are placed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, this is necessary to disinfect the planting material.
- After an hour, the seeds are spread on a thick layer of damp gauze or cloth and left for another 3 days. During this time, they should be slightly bent, which will make it easier for the seeds to germinate in the prepared soil.
Naklyuvshisya seeds are sown in pre-prepared soil - in small pots or a spacious container. In the latter case, 1-1.5 cm of free space should be left between the seeds when planting. The deepening for the seeds is made small, about 2-3 cm, immediately after planting, the soil is watered and subsequently constantly kept moist.
Rhubarb shoots appear quite quickly - only 2-3 weeks after planting. Immediately after the first leaves appear from the ground, the container with seedlings must be rearranged on a lighted windowsill or in another bright, but not hot place.
Plant care consists in regular watering, loosening and feeding. It is necessary to water the seedlings as the soil dries up - the soil should always be slightly moistened. It is recommended to loosen the soil once a week for better oxygenation, and every 2 weeks the seedlings should be supplied with universal complex fertilizers.
Advice! If the seeds were sown in a common container, then after a couple of leaves appear on the seedlings, the sprouts can be planted in separate pots and grown further in the usual way, so the plant will feel more comfortable.
Transfer to the ground
Theoretically, it is possible to plant rhubarb in open ground from a container in spring or early summer, after the seedlings have hardened a little. However, more often the transplant is carried out 100 days after sowing the seed, in August or early September. In this case, the seedlings take root better in the open air, and before the cold weather there is enough time for the seedlings to take root properly. Another option is to transplant rhubarb in the spring the next year after the seedlings appear.
In any case, before planting seedlings in open ground, the so-called hardening is carried out. Throughout the week, a box or pots with seedlings are taken out into the air, first for a short time, just for a couple of hours, and then for the whole day.
The process of seed transplanting itself looks very simple - in a well-lit area, beds are prepared in advance that are suitable for growing rhubarb in terms of soil composition, and the seedlings are carefully rolled into the ground. In order not to damage the roots of the seedlings, it is recommended to preserve the old soil from the container as much as possible. Immediately after transplanting, the seedlings need to be well watered and grown according to the usual rules of care before the onset of cold weather.
How to grow rhubarb outdoors
Some gardeners don't see the point in planting rhubarb in home containers. The garden culture is distinguished by high frost resistance and great endurance, therefore, if desired, you can plant rhubarb with seeds directly in the soil under the open sky.
When to sow rhubarb: in spring or fall
It is recommended to plant seeds in open ground in spring. In the middle lane and southern regions, this can be done from the end of April; in Siberia, it is recommended to wait until the final heat is established in mid or late May. The optimum temperature for planting and further cultivation of rhubarb is 16-20 ° C above zero, so the time for work should be chosen according to the weather.
Planting rhubarb in the fall is also perfectly acceptable. If dry seeds are sown in mid-October, then during the fall and winter, the planting material will naturally have time to undergo hardening and soaking and will sprout next spring. But in practice, spring planting is more common, since it coincides in time with most of the garden work.
Where to plant rhubarb
The main requirements of rhubarb to the planting site are sufficient sunlight and moist but well-drained soil with an average acidity. Therefore, it is necessary to plant and grow the plant in a well-lit area or in the natural shade of fruit trees, and the pH level of the soil should be at least 4.5.
Since it is possible to grow a perennial crop in one place for up to 15 years in a row, it is advisable to select a site with this factor in mind.
Preparing the beds
If the natural soil on the site does not meet the requirements of rhubarb for cultivation, then before planting the beds need to be specially prepared. A couple of months before sowing the seeds, the soil is dug up and 3 buckets of humus are added per 1 sq. m. of land. You can also add complex mineral fertilizers to the soil, they will contribute to the rapid growth of seedlings.
Immediately before planting rhubarb in the beds, they arrange grooves up to 1.5 cm deep, the distance between which is at least 20 cm.It is in these grooves that the seeds will fall, and the gaps are needed so that the rhubarb shoots are not too close to each other.
How to plant rhubarb seeds in spring
Planting rhubarb seeds in spring in prepared beds is also permissible in dry form. But for faster growth, it is recommended to germinate them first, in which case they will not sprout in 10-12 days, but in just 5-6 days.
Germinating seeds is not particularly difficult:
- for 2 days, seeds for planting in the ground are soaked in clean water;
- then the planting material is wrapped in moistened gauze and put into a refrigerator for 10 days with a temperature of 0 to 5 ° C above zero;
- after the time has elapsed, the gauze with the seeds is removed and transferred to a warm place with a temperature of about 25 ° C, where small seedlings are awaited.
Sprouted seeds are laid out on the prepared grooves in the beds, the gap between individual seeds should be 5 cm. Then the seeds are covered with soil, and then they wait for the first shoots. After the rhubarb sprouts produce the first 2-3 leaves, the seedlings can be thinned out a little so that the distance between the individual sprouts is about 20 cm.
Important! As a rule, rhubarb is sown with seeds in the ground in a temporary place. A couple of years after the emergence of shoots, the grown plant will need to be transferred to a permanent site and grown further in accordance with the usual rules.
How to propagate rhubarb by dividing a bush
Reproduction of rhubarb by division is carried out if there is already an adult bush of the desired variety on the site. The procedure is quite simple, but certain rules must be followed in the process.
- A good time to plant rhubarb with a bush is from April to May before the buds begin to grow, or from September to October.
- Rhubarb bushes 4-5 years old with strong thick petioles, a sufficient amount of green mass and without peduncles are best suited as planting material.
- Planting holes for rhizomes should be 50 cm wide and deep, since the plant is quite large.
Separation of rhizomes from the mother bush is carried out using a sharp shovel. It is necessary to free a part of the mother bush from the ground, cut off a part of the root with 2-3 growth buds on it and a developed root system, and on the same day transfer the seedling to the prepared hole.
At the bottom of the planting pit, it is necessary to pour a bucket of manure, then put a mixture of peat and fertile soil, taken in equal proportions, in a layer of 5-7 cm. The rhubarb seedling is lowered in the center of the pit and covered to the top with the remnants of peat and earth, gradually mixing wood ash in the amount of 500 g into the soil. Growth buds can be left above the ground or buried 3 cm, but in any case, after planting, the seedling must be watered and mulched peat.
Advice! The spacing between individual rhubarb bushes depends on the size of the plant. Between medium seedlings, you can leave 50 cm of space, between tall ones - from 70 cm to 1 m.
How to grow rhubarb properly
Growing rhubarb and outdoor care is not particularly difficult if you follow the basic rules.
- Rhubarb loves moist soil, but does not tolerate waterloggedness. Therefore, it is necessary to water the plant in accordance with the weather conditions, the soil should be constantly moist, but without stagnation of moisture.
- For good growth, planting rhubarb needs to be fed with complex fertilizers, ash, mullein and poultry droppings. Adult plants need feeding three times per season - in early spring before leaves appear, after harvest, and in late July or early August. As a rule, in the spring, for rapid growth, mixtures with a nitrogen content are introduced, and in the summer and closer to autumn, potash and phosphorus fertilizers are applied. Once every 3 years, it is recommended to process the plant beds with fresh manure.
- Rhubarb beds must be weeded periodically throughout the summer to prevent weed growth. To ensure that the soil receives a sufficient amount of oxygen, after each watering or rain, the beds are carefully loosened.
An important nuance of rhubarb care is the regular removal of peduncles. This is necessary to obtain stable and voluminous yields, for which gardeners begin to grow perennial crops.
Diseases and pests
The perennial plant is highly resistant to diseases and pests. However, sometimes rhubarb can affect powdery mildew, root rot or ascochitosis, and from insects for culture, rhubarb bug and buckwheat fleas are especially dangerous.
The best prevention of disease is to follow all the rules for growing rhubarb. To prevent diseases and eliminate insects, the plant is recommended to be treated with fungicides and insecticidal preparations once a season. But this should be done only after harvesting so that the rhubarb stalks do not absorb toxic substances.
Rhubarb care in autumn
Rhubarb should be grown especially carefully in the autumn, as the plant begins to prepare for winter.
- Watering the perennial is necessary only in case of dry weather, so as not to overmoisten the soil before the cold weather.
- In early September, it is recommended to apply superphosphate and potash fertilizers under the rhubarb bushes.
It is still possible to cut the leaves from the bush, however, in the amount of no more than 1/3 of the total green mass. In the fall, rhubarb should focus on preparing for winter rather than recovering from pruning.
Do I need to cut rhubarb for the winter
It is not recommended to prune green rhubarb leaves in the fall, so as not to injure the plant. However, with the onset of cold weather, the green aboveground mass of the plant will die off naturally, and then it will need to be completely removed.
How to prepare rhubarb for winter
Rhubarb tolerates harsh winters. But in order to avoid freezing, it must be insulated - covered with straw or fallen leaves with a layer of 7-10 cm.With the arrival of spring and the establishment of heat, the mulch will need to be removed so that the plant can give new leaves and it can be grown again.
Rhubarb: planting and care in the open field is an interesting activity for gardeners who want to grow a beautiful, tasty and healthy edible plant on their site. There are many ways to plant and grow rhubarb, which makes it even more convenient for cultivation.