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Rhubarb tolerates most soils but grows best on fertile, well-drained soils that are high in organic matter.  A clean planting site is essential for the cultivation of rhubarb since no herbicides are registered for use on rhubarb.  Small areas of perennial weeds can quickly build up to serious proportions.  To prevent this, all perennial weeds should be killed the year before planting.  The fields should be cultivated in the spring and after cutting, and hand hoeing may also be necessary.  Rhubarb is relatively free of insect and disease problems.

Space rhubarb roots 24 to 48 inches apart in rows 3 to 4 feet apart for commercial growing. These distances can be decreased to 36 inches for plants in rows for non commercial gardens.  Much smaller than this will seriously crowd the plants and result in a diminished crop and increase the likelihood of spreading disease.  Plant the roots with the crown bud 2 inches below the surface of the soil.  The hole for the crown should be dug extra large and composted manure and peat moss should be mixed with the soil to be placed around the roots.  Firm the soil around the roots but keep it loose over the buds.  Water the crowns after planting.

Rhubarb responds to good care and watering  Remove the flower stalks as they are seen.  During the first year of planting, the stalks should not be picked.  Rhubarb tolerates most soils but grows best on fertile, well-drained soils that are high in organic matter.  A clean planting site is essential for the cultivation of rhubarb since no herbicides are registered for use on rhubarb.  Small areas of perennial weeds can quickly build up to serious proportions.  To prevent this, all perennial weeds should be killed the year before planting.  The fields should be cultivated in the spring and after cutting, and hand hoeing may also be necessary.  Rhubarb is relatively free of insect and disease problems.

For the home gardener, rhubarb will tolerate a fair amount of neglect and still thrive, they are very tough plants.  Rhubarb needs cold to trigger spring growth. Rhubarb tolerates very cold (-20 F) very well.  Collect the last few stalks after the first hard frost and throw them on the compost pile.  Then spread a layer (2-3″) of compost (or leaves or hay) to prevent winter winds from drying out your roots.  You don’t need to do much to prepare them.