Rhubarb is a perennial that grows well in our Nebraska climate. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil, or build a raised bed. Rhubarb plants require lots of nutrients, so work compost or manure into the soil before planting. Don’t use a chemical fertilizer the first year, young plants are sensitive to the nitrates in the fertilizer. Plant in early spring 18-30” apart, with the crown an inch below the surface of the soil. Keep the plant well-watered. Divide plants every three to four years when they’re dormant in the late fall or early spring. Add compost in the fall to provide the plant with food for the spring.
Do not remove any stalks the first year so the plant can work on establishing its roots. Remove any flower stalks that appear. Stalks are ready to be harvested when they’re 12-18” tall by cutting them at the base of the plant. Leave at least two stalks attached to the crown to continue production. If stalks become thin, add organic material to feed the plant. Don’t eat the leaves, they’re poisonous!