Rhubarb Provides Foliage For Garden and Tasty Stems for Pies and Jams

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I bought a six pack of rhubarb from Cal Herbolds.  Searching for the best micro-climate, I planted them in a variety of places.  They didn’t do well in well drained sand with full sun. This rhubarb, on the other hand, flourished in a partially shaded garden with a northern exposure.  The soil here is more of a heavy clay loam that has been amended with gypsum and compost.  The photo above is the second year of growth on this plant. Now I am expanding the locations where I put rhubarb.  I think the leaves would make a great foliage back drop for some of my showier ornamental plants.

So far the leaves got hit by a bad frost in the fall before the stems turned red. Cal told me that they eventually would. Maybe next fall.  Not sure how to tell when stems are ready to harvest  for cooking.

Leaves and stems contain oxalic acid, so don’t eat them raw. Maybe the rhubarb will improve my soil enough for acid loving plants like blueberries.

I heard that an extract from rhubarb makes a nice hair dye.

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About Caliche Chick

I retired from a career as an Environmental Scientist and Botanist. My first career was teaching science and English as a Second Language (ESL), and content classes for ESL students at the middle school level. I also taught introductory biology at the community college level. I have an avid interest in plants that grow with little to no irrigation. I also keep a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and back yard chickens. When I am not in my yard, I am taking Construction Technology Classes at Victor Valley College and working on my "fixer upper" home.
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