Rhubarb Tips & Recipes
Rhubarb is a perennial that lasts for decades. One young plant will grow, spread out, and need to be divided about every third year for best growth. It’s a great perennial to share with friends. It’s one of the first vegetables to produce in the spring and always a welcome sight.
- Rhubarb dividing and planting time is about the same time as spring fishing. Did a deep hole, add the fish guts, soil on top, and plant the rhubarb. Water deeply to encourage roots to move down into the soil rather than spread out across the top. By the time they get to the fish it will have broken down and be available to the plants. You’ll know when they meet up because the nitrogen in the fish will give the plants a big boost. rhubarb tips & recipes
- Did you miss dividing overgrown roots in the spring? It’s alright to do it in early fall when the sun isn’t as blazing hot, and the nights are cooler. Water well and provide shade if the plants are too hot while they’re settling in. rhubarb tips & recipes
- As the days get longer and the temperature rises, rhubarb will “bolt.” It will send up a hollow flower stalk. You’ll know it when you see it; it doesn’t look like the usual stalk with a leaf. Pull the flower stalk to keep the plant producing well.
- Pull stalks, don’t cut them. Pulling the stalk stimulates growth and avoids a wet stump that can allow bacteria in.
Simple Rhubarb Sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups rhubarb (about 1 pound)
- 1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon pectin (optional)
Simmer water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. This is known as a simple syrup. Cut rhubarb into 1/2″ pieces and add to the syrup. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. The sauce is done when the rhubarb is breaking down. Add cinnamon or nutmeg after removing the sauce from heat. Rhubarb is low in pectin so you might want to cut down to 1/4 cup water after the first batch, or add a tablespoon of pectin according to the directions.
Simple Rhubarb Sauce can be served on warm biscuits, ice cream, Angle Food cake and many other ways. It cans well and if you put up enough, you’ll be able to enjoy it over the winter. While rhubarb is a spring treat, it’s hardy enough for a winter dessert.
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