I need some advice regarding rhubarb. Firstly my stalks are well over 10 inches but still green, should they be red to eat? Secondly one of my bushes is seeding on top. Should I pull this bush out or just cut the top off. Thanks for your answers in advance.
I've never grown rhubarb (it's my understanding that it doesn't do well in this area), but my relatives up north have it. Dad grew up around it, and I remember him telling me that part of the plant is toxic. Here is a link to Dave's Garden -- it's a great resource! I typed in "rhubarb," and this is what came up. Some parts of the site are free, but to access other parts you have to be a subscribing member.
Some strains of rhubarb does not get red. Canadian is a red type, and does not require as much sugar. It would be red as soon as it pops out of the ground in the spring. If it is not red at the stage you mentioned it will not get red as it is ripe right from the start. As for the seed pods you cut them off to allow the other stalks to grow. Rhubarb never gets to old, it lasts for years and years. The roots should be broken up every few years and replanted to make more plants. Dig them up and cut them up with a shovel. Rhubarb grows best in cold areas like in the north. Does not grow well south of Mason Dixon line.
Sounds like you may have the old variety called "Victoria" which is green, not red. It is prone to trying to bloom and set seed. Just cut off the seed stalk. By the way, rhubarb is a perennial plant that will die back to the ground each winter, unlike a bush that will have branches that remain from year to year.
Sounds like you are south of the Mason-Dixon line if your rhubarb is that large already in February. If you just put it in last year, pick lightly this year because it is still getting established. Rhubarb is a heavy feeder and likes to be mulched so the soil stays moist.
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