Check List: Follow these steps for the best chance of success with your rhubarb plants!

Follow these steps for the best chance of success!

  • Select sunny, well-drained site.
  • Have soil tested by the Maine Soil Testing Service.
  • Prepare site by removing all plant growth (grass, turf, weeds, etc.). Do not use herbicides (or fertilizers with herbicides) to control weeds in or near the planting areas. The site for one rhubarb crown should be at least 4 feet wide and 4 feet long (16 square feet) for straight row planting.
  • Follow soil test recommendations to amend the soil for your new planting. Amend the soil pH by adding agricultural limestone. When applying fertilizer, do not place fertilizer directly against the roots of the crown.
  • Integrate fertilizer and peat moss or compost throughout tilled area (use rake, hoe, cultivator, flat tined pitchfork or other garden tools).
  • Prepare a hole for planting each crown (approximately 12″ wide and 12″ deep).
  • Cover the crown with soil/organic matter mix at about 2″ deep.
  • Water each plant with 1-2 gallons of water at planting.
  • Place a 4″ to 6″ deep layer of organic mulch around each plant and over all tilled area. Use pine wood shavings, pine needles or bark mulch. Do not use sawdust or dyed (colored) bark mulch. Do not use black plastic or landscape fabric.
  • Check your plants every few days for new growth. Water each plant every 5 to 7 days with 1 gallon of water unless it has rained. Check soil near plants with your hand for adequate moisture.
  • Remove weeds or grasses around the perimeter of your mulched planting area at least 2 times each month throughout the growing season.
  • Side-dress each plant (around the sides of the plant) with compost or farm manure in late summer.
  • Record planting date and varieties planted.
  • Consider taking pictures of your work.
  • Enjoy this opportunity to grow some of your own food.
  • Tell others about your rhubarb project.

Best wishes for a successful rhubarb growing experience!