2012 – a new addition to our garden this year are 5 rhubarb crowns. On reflection I think that this will give us more rhubarb than any of us will want to eat so after jam, crumble and juice what will we do with the excess. I have already been pondering who I will give a couple of crowns to!
They have been planted as per instructions in the dampest part of the vege patch in soil that has had chook and cow manure and lots of compost dug in. Last year this bed was also victim of my first and only attempt at growing green manure, that is another story!
As rhubarb will last for 10 or more years I thought that it was necessary to give them a good start. I will also decorate the area with a sign that says the tops and roots are poisonous, having high levels of oxalic acid, and they are not to be fed to us or the poultry.
Uses for rhubarb leaves
I have researched uses for the leaves and found that they are ok to put into the compost heap and people have reported that their chooks got into the vegetable garden and ate the leaves without any disastrous affects. They can also be chopped up and boiled, the resulting liquid mixed with water and soap flakes and sprayed on aphids. It should not be stored so only make enough to use at a time. Apprantly the saucepans are left very shiny, but a lot of people say not to use pans you will cook in and not to spray it on edible food but this seems OTT to me.