It is the season for gardens to be planted, and I ran across a rhubarb question on social media. The question had to do with knowing when to pick your rhubarb, and with different varieties of rhubarb plants out there, it can be tough if you aren't sure, as you've worked hard raising the plant from seed. Here's what you need to know, in broad strokes, on knowing when to pick your rhubarb, and how to do it.

How do I know if my rhubarb is ready to be picked?

So you've planted some rhubarb plants in your garden, and you are eagerly waiting to harvest some to enjoy. Pump the brakes if you've just planted that plant in the last year, it's not recommended to harvest any rhubarb from a plant that is less than a year old. They just won't survive, in most cases.

If you've got rhubarb plants that have been planned longer than a year you'll want to keep an eye on the stalks of the plant to know generally when you can start to harvest some stems. According to Taste of Home:

The stalks are ready to harvest when they're between 7 and 15 inches long. The best time to harvest rhubarb is during the months of May, June and early July. After this, it's best to let the plant be, so it can regrow and recharge to survive the winter.

OK my rhubarb is ready, how do I remove the stalk?

Taste of Home went on to detail exactly how you should harvest the stalks of rhubarb, the stalks by the way are the only edible part of the plant, and you shouldn't use scissors or a knife.

To harvest some stalks of rhubarb you should grab and twist the stalk. Taste of Home describes it as:

Grasp the stalk near the bottom. Lean it to the side and in one motion gently twist and pull the stalk up. The stalk will pop and separate from the rhubarb plant at the root, and come cleanly away. The twisting and pulling motion should be gentle. If the rhubarb stalk doesn’t come away immediately, grasp it lower and try leaning it in the other direction.

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Now I believe we might be still a LITTLE early for rhubarb harvesting, BUT if you have a plant that's ready by all means enjoy! The window for great rhubarb is a short one, so we've got to enjoy this summertime treat when we can!

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