Are you hoping to plant a vegetable patch and have settled for rhubarb as your first choice? Do you want to know what benefits you can get out of harvesting rhubarb fresh from your yard?
How much water does rhubarb need and how can you water your plants effectively?
Find the answers to these questions and more in this post.
Did you know that rhubarb is also considered a fruit by some people? Fruit or vegetable, whatever side you are on, rhubarb is loaded with nutrition for you so planting it is worthwhile.
Before we explain how much water rhubarb needs, let’s talk a little about how it’s planted.
Rhubarb can be grown from seed but it is easier to plant budded pieces or crowns(rhubarb plants that are at least a year old). It is mostly planted in early spring, while the soil is warm and moist from thawing.
Each rhubarb plant should be given a space of 75cm before the next one. Although they are undemanding, plant them in a sunny spot where they will not need to be moved as they don’t appreciate disturbance.
Healthy rhubarb can tolerate partial shade and keep producing for up to 10 years.
How Much Water Does Rhubarb Need?
Rhubarb does not require too much water. For the first year of the rhubarb plant’s life, water it once every 3 days, which is about 5cm of water weekly.
As it grows, you can reduce the watering frequency to once a week. Rhubarb can survive with minimal watering but giving insufficient amounts of water is possible as well as overwatering.
How much water does rhubarb need? As mentioned, rhubarb does not need plenty of water and as such, does not need to be watered every day.
3 to 5 litres of water every 3 days is enough water for your rhubarb.
As you water the rhubarb, ensure the water soaks deep into the soil to avoid it pooling on the surface. Water that gathers on the surface can cause rhubarb plants to develop crown rot.
Signs of Overwatered and Underwatered Rhubarb
If you have planted your rhubarb in soil that does not drain well, your rhubarb can experience overwatering. The same goes for watering in the evening because the soil is unable to dry up enough.
Some signs tell you that your rhubarb is either getting too much water or not enough at all. To know if it is being overwatered, notice if the leaves are beginning to turn yellow or wilt.
Root and crown rot also signifies that your rhubarb is sitting in too much water. Crown rot manifests as a brown or black decay on the crown and root rot, as black or slimy roots.
Underwatered rhubarb can also exhibit some of the same signs as overwatered ones. For example, yellowed and withered leaves also point toward being deprived of water.
Underwatering occurs when you do not water rhubarb accordingly or live in a climate that does not get substantial rainfall. You must never allow your rhubarb to experience these two extremes.
Damaged rhubarb should have its affected parts pruned off or the whole plant should be disposed of to prevent the spread of disease to other vegetables around.
How To Water Rhubarb For Best Results
Now, we have answered the question “how much water does rhubarb need?”. We are now going to talk about how to water rhubarb for the best results.
Generally, rhubarb needs the most water in the first two years of growth. Water requirements also differ based on the size of the plant.
A larger rhubarb will need more water than a smaller one and vice versa. Watering of rhubarb should be done uniformly and at the end of each session, the plants should have their roots thoroughly soaked.
To get the best out of your rhubarb plants,
- Care must be taken to avoid splashing water on the leaves and stems as this can lead to so many problems. Instead, the stream of water should be directed at the base of the plant alone where it can reach the roots quickly.
In the case that water touches the plant body, fungal or bacterial infection may set in because the water is not able to dry up completely and moisture breeds microorganisms.
- Before you water rhubarb, it is best to determine if they need it or not. Find out by checking the soil moisture level and if it is dry, you can prove
Water more often if rain hasn’t fallen in a while.
- For young rhubarb plants, deeply water every 3 days and for established ones, water every week on a schedule.
- Add a layer of organic mulch to the surface of the soil to trap moisture and take care not to cover the rhubarb. This way you won’t have to water the plant excessively thereby avoiding the effects of overwatering.
Benefits of Rhubarb
At this point, you should have learnt how much water rhubarb needs, how often to water it and the indications of if rhubarb is overwatered or underwatered. We are now delving briefly into the benefits you can get from growing rhubarb and adding it to your meals.
- Rhubarb is a natural hair colouring agent because it contains high levels of oxalic acid. If you want that extra hair shine, try going for rhubarb more.
- It prevents skin ageing because of the Vitamin A in it that removes free radicals. That’s amazing!
- Studies have shown that people who take rhubarb are less likely to get cancer. More studies are ongoing.
- Rhubarb is a natural laxative so it can be used to treat constipation.
- Lastly, if you wish for strong bones and teeth, rhubarb is an excellent choice as it packs quite a dose of Vitamin K which plays a role in bone formation.
How do you make rhubarb grow better?
The optimal conditions for rhubarb growth are full sun and partial shade. Pick a location with fertile, well-draining soil. Rhubarb needs good drainage since it will rot if it is kept too damp. Incorporate anything high in organic matter, such as compost or rotten manure, into the soil.
What is the best thing to feed rhubarb?
Feed your plants three times a year with fertilizer to get the most rhubarb stem harvests. Early in the spring, spread 2 to 3 inches of composted manure, compost, or 12 cup of an all-purpose fertilizer for gardens, such as 10-10-10, around each plant (now)
Is Miracle Grow good for rhubarb?
On the other hand, Miracle-Gro has a comparatively low phosphorus content while being high in nitrogen and potassium. While some flowers benefit from this, a perennial veggie like rhubarb is not one of them.
How do I make my rhubarb stalks thicker?
You can amend your soil with organic manure or compost, but if you want your rhubarb stalks to really thicken up, you may want to use an organic fertilizer that will provide a more dependable balance of nutrients. This kind of organic fertilizer is suitable for use with eating plants.
What do you do with first year rhubarb?
Avoid the urge to harvest any stems from newly planted rhubarb during the first year because doing so will weaken the plant. Pick just a few stems the following year. After then, the plant ought to be well-established and ready for typical harvesting.
Should I remove yellow leaves from rhubarb?
Look for white fungal growth or rot at the plant’s crown’s base where the leaves meet the earth. If you do, it’s better to fully uproot the plant and replace it with a fresh, healthy one that you may put somewhere else in the garden.
Should you let rhubarb plants flower?
Most gardeners decide to remove the blooms as soon as they develop because rhubarb is produced for the stems and needs that energy to concentrate on growing leaves.
Is bone meal good for rhubarb?
It won’t harm to sprinkle some blood and bone meal around the crown. During dry spells, make sure they have water. Their large, succulent leaves and stems require a lot of moisture. Holding the stalk close to the ground, gently pull it away from the crown to harvest rhubarb.
Rhubarb is a remarkable veggie that is easy to cultivate. It is quite hardy, likes the sun and can tolerate a little shade.
How much water does rhubarb need? When it comes to water needs, there’s not much required.
Rhubarb plants less than 2 years old need more hydration and should be watered every 3 days with approximately 3 to 5 litres of water. Established rhubarb can do with less, like watering once a week but should be given a good soak then.
Underwatering rhubarb is possible and so is giving excess water.
Both of these can damage the plant, eventually killing it. It is important to find out if rhubarb needs water before providing it.
A moisture meter can help or you can use your fingers to feel the dryness of the soil. Mulch retains soil moisture so consider adding a layer of that to the top of the soil around the rhubarb.
Follow a regular schedule for watering your rhubarb and they will do nicely. We hope you’ve learned a lot, kindly let us know in the comments below.