31 May 2011
Again this year my rhubarb is ready to harvest about the same time the Dorsett Golden apples ripen. It’s a happy garden coincidence and I chop both and cook them together. The homely, windfall apples are a deliciously sweet complement to the tart rhubarb and perhaps a little less sugar is needed.
Rhubarb grows large, maybe too large for some edible gardens. In the image below you can see my rhubarb is squeezed between the tree peony and the bins holding my sifted compost. Behind the rhubarb are the trellised marionberries. In an edible landscape though, rhubarb becomes a bold and useful statement.
Rhubarb likes regular water and lots of compost. During winter dormancy, I use compost as a mulch around the plant. Rain dissolves nutrients into the soil to support the next season’s harvest. Additional compost added during the spring and summer keeps the plant vigorous. I tend to harvest rhubarb longer than the experts recommend. The plant seems to oblige and I only take a few of the thickest stalks each time.
If you like rhubarb but are not growing it, check local farmers markets.