Believe it or not, the spring planting season is just around the corner (this is definitely harder for some of us to believe than others!). In order to help turn all of our thoughts ahead to the days when the snow will disappear and the ground will thaw — yes, it WILL happen! — I will be featuring another one of my favorite spring planted bulbs or perennials each week. This garden selection will then become Holland Bulb Farm’s Bulb Bargain for that one day ONLY. They’ll also be featuring a unique shipping deal each week with the bargain which will also last for that one day only — it’s a great chance to try something new or stock up on one of your faves! Check back each week or sign up for their newsletter to be notified each time I feature something different!
This plant looks good enough to eat…and it IS! Always a fan of big-leafed plants which are full of texture, the Crimson Red Rhubarb plant has got to be one of my faves. How wonderfully amazing that something that can be grown for its gorgeous leaves with vividly-colored stems could also do such fantastic things in the kitchen! Welcome ravishing rhubarb to your yard this summer!
A great complement to the outdoor landscape: As I mentioned above, the large, full bright green leaves of this plant give it a texture all its own. But what is even more aesthetically-impressive are the bright crimson red stalks supporting each of these leaves. Since these crowns are propagated from division, the stalk carries that vivid color throughout, not just on the external sides. This makes it especially pleasing when cut for cooking or baking as well.
Unbeatable flavor and taste: Did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable but is treated as a fruit? It is jammed full of Vitamin K (considered by some to be the “next Vitamin D”), fiber and antioxidants. Some of my most beloved desserts contain rhubarb as it is simply unmatched in its tart yet sweet taste. As I mentioned above, the color also is a great added benefit of using it in various desserts and dishes. Or you could do what my father would as a young boy and simply dip a raw stalk of rhubarb in a bowl of sugar and crunch away!
Bridget’s Harvesting Tip: It is typically recommended that rhubarb be allowed to grow two seasons prior to harvesting in order to establish itself. Due to the large nature of these Crimson Red Rhubarb crowns (the weight per crown is approx. 14 oz for these jumbo-sized division), more energy is retained each growing season and therefore, the amount of time this plant requires to get established is shortened. To be safe, I would still suggest allowing the plant to grow for one season prior to harvesting but after that, go for it! For best results, harvest the stalks by pulling rather cutting and be sure never to remove more than 40% of the total plant in any given summer.