Red rhubarb is an excellent veggie to grow in the home garden, and it grows back each spring without much effort. However, this long-lived perennial requires nutrients throughout the growing season for the best production. Learn what a rhubarb plant wants for optimal growth and how to prepare homemade fertilizer for rhubarb.
Rhubarb is a spring vegetable with a sour flavor and a favorite plant among gardeners. While the leaves contain poisonous oxalic acid, the stalks are safe to eat. Rhubarb stalks taste great in everything from pie to jam. There’s nothing better than harvesting fresh rhubarb and making a sweet-tart dessert recipe.
The emergence of rhubarb leaves signifies springtime when fruit trees begin to blossom and the outdoor temperatures rise. Yet, discovering the rhubarb patch has a low yield of plants with thin rhubarb stalks is disappointing.
Ways to Fertilize Rhubarb Naturally
A rhubarb plant needs the right minerals and nutrients to produce a healthy rhubarb crown. Without regular fertilizer applications, the soil becomes depleted, and the plant struggles to thrive. Fortunately, applying compost or a natural fertilizer when you plant rhubarb each season ensures you get a productive crop.
The simplest way to fertilize plants is to use a commercial granular fertilizer. Still, we find that using organic fertilizer is the best fertilizer for the environment and soil health. Learn what nutrient your plant needs to eliminate growing problems, as well as when and how to feed your plants, and tips for feeding your rhubarb naturally.
Does Rhubarb Need Fertilizer?
Fertilizers generally use a combination of minerals and nutrients, varying depending on the type. Discover how to make your own fertilizer for pineapples and rhubarb, and find out what is ideal for feeding rhubarb plants based on the nutrient ratio.
Like most other plants, crimson red rhubarb and other rhubarb varieties require partial shade, nutrients, and trace minerals for root, stem, and leaf growth.
Generally, 10-10-10 fertilizer provides rhubarb with a balance of everything to flourish, from nitrogen and phosphate to potash. However, an organic rhubarb plant fertilizer is the best fertilizer for rhubarb plants. They grow ideally with a combination of composted manure and phosphorus.
There are three main components in fertilizer; nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is a macronutrient that forms the building blocks of plant enzymes and proteins. Not enough of this nutrient causes stunted growth.
Phosphorus is essential for cell division and the seed and plant. Potassium helps move water, nutrients, and carbohydrates through the plant tissue.
When and How to Fertilize Rhubarb
Some plants need fertilization when planting, and others require consistent plant food throughout the season. Explore the best time to plant rhubarb and how to fertilize for optimal results.
Fertilizing rhubarb is relatively easy. Before growth, spread half a cup of nitrogen-rich fertilizer around each plant in the early spring, such as chicken manure, blood meal, and coffee grounds. Apply a second dose of fertilizer in the fall, but broadcast a phosphorus fertilizer like rotted manure to help strengthen the root base for the winter.
Organic Rhubarb Plant Fertilizer for Overall Health
An organic rhubarb plant fertilizer is ideal for feeding plants without harming the soil and environment. However, there are different types, each offering plants varying minerals. Learn which ones are perfect for fertilizing rhubarb and how they benefit the plant.
Organic fertilizers come from natural resources and are easy for plants to digest. They provide plants with consistent, slow-release nourishment, strengthening and self-sustaining your rhubarb.
Additionally, they cut back on the number of chemicals going into the soil, which leads to toxic build-up, soil degradation and compaction, and nitrogen leaching. Some good examples of organic fertilizers are manure, seaweed, worm casting, peat, compost, and bone meal.
Composted manure is an excellent natural rhubarb fertilizer. It provides plants with well-balanced rhubarb plant food. A compost pile consists of grass clippings, leaf material, food scraps, rotted manure, and even worm castings. Chicken manure and blood meal are ideal for giving rhubarb a nitrogen boost and other nutrients.
Homemade Fertilizer for Rhubarb for Spring Feeding
Rhubarb plants need the right amount of nutrition in early spring to provide strong roots and crowns and promote a larger crop of stalks. Make a DIY fertilizer for rhubarb for spring feeding.
Spread leftover coffee grounds over the soil around each rhubarb plant. Dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and pour the water over the coffee grounds around the plant stalk.
The Epsom salt lowers the pH of the soil while adding magnesium, making it easier for the rhubarb leaf and flowering stalk to absorb nutrients. At the same time, the coffee grounds help the plant absorb nitrogen.
DIY Fertilizer for Fall Feeding
Feeding rhubarb in the autumn after you harvest is just as important as in the spring. Discover how to fertilize rhubarb in the fall to encourage the plant to absorb necessary nutrients to strengthen it through the winter months.
After harvesting rhubarb, fill a pot with water and submerge crushed eggshells and chopped banana peels in the liquid. Put a lid on the container to prevent fruit flies and steep the solution overnight. Strain the liquid into a watering can and pour the phosphorus-rich plant food around the rhubarb stalk.
Harvesting a rhubarb flower stalk unfit for eating is disappointing and a waste of time. Fortunately, feeding your plants at the proper times and providing them with nutrition from organic matter ensures that you get a robust rhubarb yield, year after year.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to make a homemade fertilizer for rhubarb, and we’d love it if you’d share our rhubarb fertilization tips with the veggie gardeners in your life on Pinterest and Facebook.