Good Organic Gardening

RHUBARB RHUBARB

Rhubarb label

Common name: Rhubarb

Botanical name: Rheum x hybridum

Family: Polygonaceae

Aspect & soil: Sun to afternoon shade; deep, well-drained fertile soil

Best climate: Cool to subtropical

Habit: Perennial vegetable

Propagation: Crowns, potted plants

Difficulty: Easy

Just about everyone knows not to eat rhubarb leaves. It’s one of those pieces of folklore passed down from generation to generation.

It’s the long stalks of these large, luxuriant vegetables that you eat. Simply cut or break off the leafy tops — this removes a toxin called oxalic acid, which is present in the leaves but not the stalks.

Discarded leaves can be added to the compost but should not be fed to animals such as stock or chickens.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Good Organic Gardening

Good Organic Gardening6 min read
Aquacultural Project
You’ve probably heard me sell the virtues of aquaponics, which combines fish and plants in a reticulated system. Benefits include low input, minimal water use (only 10 per cent of that used in conventional gardens), low maintenance and reduced fertil
Good Organic Gardening4 min read
Ripple Effect
A field of rippling grass moving in the wind always grabs my attention — but trying to mimic that look in the garden isn’t easy. Lawn grasses just look untidy when they’re long and most of us don’t want long grass swamping the garden, especially if i
Good Organic Gardening3 min read
Pick Of The Crop
Stop breaking your back trying to dig your clay soil, stop wasting water trying to keep plants from dying in the hot summer months and start using Earthlife Garden Mate. This easy-to-use, simple soil conditioner combines several products in one. Eart