Rhubarb Contributes to Fall Colors

larry_geneOctober 20, 2009

Who needs to take a trip to New England when they have rhubarb in the yard?

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denninmi(8a)

Pretty. Mine never does that, just turns ugly greenish/yellow and dies. Could be a climate thing or a cultivar thing.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 11:49AM
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brookw_gw

Stunning.

A question: I have ten year-old rhubarb plants that I did not harvest from this year. Would it be feasible to harvest their stalks now before they succumb to frost or do they need to stay on until dead?? I know not to harvest after a killing frost as the dangerous oxalic acid in the leaves migrates back into the stalks. I guess I'm being impatient, but I'd sure love some fresh rhubarb now.

Thanks,

Brook

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 2:08PM
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denninmi(8a)

Brook, as long as the stalks haven't gotten either so tough and woody or so soft and spongy as to be unsuable, not a problem, go ahead.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 3:15PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

larry_gene, what variety is that?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 8:50AM
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larry_gene

I have no idea, these are plant that came with the house purchased in 1990. The first picture is of a plant with thick red stalks and the second picture below is of a plant with medium-thick green stalks. They are probably common varieties found prior to 1990. 31 pounds harvested from the two plants this year, 10 pounds remain, all flat on the ground.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 11:10PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

That's encouraging. I thought rhubarb only grew in real cold climates. It has never survived for me here. Perhaps it would be worth re-trying.

Does it get full sun in summer? Wish I new the variety.

Bejay

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:40AM
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larry_gene

I'm in Portland, zone 8; you're zone 10--if on the west coast, would be the equivalent of Sacramento. I think you'd have to keep the rhubarb watered daily and partially shaded in that climate.

Even in Portland, I see mostly spindly, suffering rhubarb. It is usually planted in poor, dry, weedy soil by many casual gardeners. Even this will provide one seasonal dessert when combined with strawberries, that is what most people want out of rhubarb.

So the growing conditions matter more than the variety.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:58PM
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