When we had to discontinue Glaskins for a few years, we got calls from people searching for this fast-growing English heirloom rhubarb.
More low-acid variety.
Low maintenance perennial with delicious tart stalks for pies and jams.
(Try rhubarb-ginger jam, an old English combination.)
Start in pots or flats then into a deep permanent bed. Get an early start and keep it growing with moisture and rich, well-drained soil.
Deep-rooted, heavy feeder. Start light harvesting second year. Bigger, better-flavored stalks if grown in light shade-- north side of the house or shed, under fruit trees, at the edge of woods.
Treasured for the first "fruit" of early spring.
Stop harvest in June so leaves can feed the plant. Great shade loving permaculture plant, Caution:poisonous leaves-use stems only.
BOTANICAL NAME: Rheum rhabarbarum
Transplant seedlings 24" apart. Matures in 3 years, and then produces for many years as a perennial. This variety can be cut in the first year of sowing. Likes well-drained soil, well dug, and fertile. Thrives on cold winters. Top dress with well-rotted manure or compost. Remove flower stalks if you don't want seed. Pull, don't cut stalks. Harvest only half of the stalks to allow regeneration. CAUTION: Seeds and green portions of this plant are poisonous. Eat leaf stems only.
GROW BIOINTENSIVE® CULTURAL INFORMATION: Zones 3-8/Matures 3 years/Harvest 4-8/Yield 70-280/Spacing 24"
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION : Tolerates winter cold, Perennial
As an Insect Spray:
Rhubarb leaves, are very poisonous, and can be used to make an effective organic spray that will kill leaf-eating insects in your garden. (cabbage caterpillars, aphids, peach and cherry slug etc) This spray is harmless to bees and breaks down in the soil quickly. To make the rhubarb spray, boil a few pounds of fresh rhubarb leaves in a few pints of water for 20 minutes. Allow the liquid to cool and strain off the liquor into a container. Dissolve 250gms (4 oz) soap flakes into the mixture while stirring it vigorously. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to infested plants. The liquid will stain and poison the pot! - so do not use either for anything other than your rhubarb spray. Label both as a reminder!
Cleaning pots and pans:
If your pots and pans are burnt, fear not! An application of rhubarb over the afflicted area will bring back the shine in next to no time. Environmentally friendly too!
Hair Colour: This is a fairly strong dye that can create a more golden hair colour for persons whose hair is blond or light brown. Simmer 3 tbsp. of rhubarb root in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, set aside overnight, and strain. Test on a few strands to determine the effect, then pour through the hair for a rinse.
Natural Dyes and Mordants:
The roots of the rhubarb produce lightfast shades of yellow and orange. They are an important source of dye in Nepal and Tibet. Tibetans use the liquor from boiled rhubarb leaves as natural mordant that works best with animal fibres. Apparently, a pound of rhubarb leaves can mordant several pounds of fibre.