And why rhubarb seed? It’s a little more unpredictable and a little more fun. Years ago Daniel MacPhee founded Blackbird Rise Farm in Maine and was brush-hogging an old neglected hay field when, despite the monotony, “a leaf caught my eye down beneath all the goldenrod and grasses,” recalls Daniel. Turns out there was a huge rhubarb plant in the middle of the hay field. “Having no idea how it got there, I hopped down, dug it up and brought it back to the garden where I divided it.” Indeed, there was never a house out there, way too far away for any reasonable garden. Daniel supposes it grew from a seed that blew in and took root long ago. “I am interested in growing rhubarb from seed precisely because it is more unpredictable and I like the variations in color and form while selecting for thick stalks, long season and productive plants that don’t overcrowd themselves...” Thanks, Daniel. The world is a more rich and resilient place for your care.
340 days to first harvest
Planting: Direct sow in fall or start indoors in spring 6 weeks before last frost. Soak seeds in water for 2-3 hours before sowing. Cover seed ¼ inch deep. Seedlings at least 3-4 inches tall will have the greatest success. Plant them out after final frost. Plant in any soil with at least partial sun; more sun will grow more rhubarb. Roots (crowns) will grow larger every season and may be divided with a shovel every 4-5 years. A hefty shovel full of compost in spring will increase your yields tremendously.
Seed Saving: Every season your rhubarb will send up incredible flower stalks that can be harvested when they dry down.