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Rhubarb Plants in Early Spring

This Can You Guess It?? Photo is featured in the May 2007 Nebline Newsletter

Rhubarb Emerging in Spring

Rhubarb in the Garden:

The rhubarb stalk is used in pies, sauces, jams, jellies, and desserts. Although classed as a vegetable, rhubarb is used as a fruit because its high acidity gives a tart flavor. Only the stalks should be eaten because the leaves contain moderately poisonous oxalic acid.

Rhubarb should not be harvested during the first two growing seasons. In the third season, rhubarb may be harvested for 4 weeks. The harvest period can be extended to 8 weeks in the fourth and following years.

Note About Using Rhubarb Impacted by the April 2007 Freeze:

Soon after these rhubarb emerged from the ground, southeastern Nebraska experienced a prolonged freeze. According to UNL Extension Horticulturalists, rhubarb hit by a hard frost or freeze in late spring can still be eaten as long as the stalks are firm and upright. If the stems are soft and mushy, do not eat them. Cut the damaged stalks off to allow new stalks to develop for eating.


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