“Crimson Cherry” rhubarb is red all the way through the stalk, making it an excellent variety for juice and wine-making.
Rhubarb is a staple of Alaska gardens. Reliably one of the first plants to be harvested, properly maintained rhubarb will provide many years of good eating.
Dig a hole 18” cubed and add plenty of compost to your soil. Rhubarb crowns should be planted so that the top of the crown is just visible. Mulch with wood chips, leaves, etc. Plants should be spaced at least 4 feet apart.
Rhubarb is an incredibly hardy plant. However, every 5-6 years you should split the crown to encourage good stalk production. You’ll know it’s time to split your rhubarb when the buds and stalks get smaller and look crowded. In early spring, use a sharp shovel to divide the crown to that each crown has 4-5 buds. Try to retain as many of the roots as possible with each cutting. Replant your cutting or give them away to your friends!
Rhubarb stalks should not be harvested until a year after planting, to allow the plant to develop a strong root system. Established rhubarb plants may be harvested throughout the summer. Rhubarb stalks are pulled out of the plant, never cut. Pick stalks that are large, but before they get tough. Leave at least ? of the leaves on the plant during each harvest. It may be a good idea to avoid picking rhubarb before fall to allow roots to store energy.
Only harvest stalks, as other parts of the plant are poisonous.
Rhubarb is largely immune from most diseases and pests here in Alaska. However, too much water may rot the root crown.