Harvesting Rhubarb

Asked June 1, 2020, 2:20 PM EDT

It looks like some of my rhubarb has gone to seed, but the rest of the rhubarb is mostly green. Should I cut the stalk that went to seed? Does the rhubarb need to be dark red to harvest? Thank you.

Oakland County Michigan

2 Responses

Rhubarb is one of the first crops of the year. You can cut off the seed stalks as soon as they appear. If the plant flowers and sets seed, it will have used up energy unnecessarily. Begin picking stalks as soon as they have reached their full length. Depending on the variety, the stalks may be only 12 inches long, or up to two feet long. The harvest season for rhubarb can lasts until the end of June. Until then, pick as many stalks as you wish. After harvest, allow the plant to keep all its leaves, to build its reserves of energy for the next year.

I have included a link to an article from the University of Minnesota Extension on growing rhubarb in the home garden. The link is here: https://extension.umn.edu/vegetables/growing-rhubarb#harvesting-923466

Good luck with your rhubarb and let me know if you have any further questions.

Thank you!