Rhubarb 'Glaskins Perpetual'
Each packet contains 30 heirloom seeds.
Scientific Name: Rheum rhabarbarum
Common Name: Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb
Glaskins Perpetual is a heirloom rhubarb variety that was developed around 1920 in Brighton, UK.
Heirloom Glaskins Perpetual rhubarb stems can be harvested late into the season, they don't become too tart as their oxalic acid content remains low even when left on the plant for longer than usual. Don't eat rhubarb leaves or roots as these are toxic. Only the stems are edible and these should be cooked prior to consumption. The stems of this variety are red at the base turning green towards the top. The stems can be chopped finely or pulped, mixed with sugar or other fruits and made into a pie filling or jam. Rhubarb roots grow deep and are good accumulators of minerals which makes the edible rhubarb stems highly nutritious, high in vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. Add discarded rhubarb leaves to your compost heap to provide a boost of minerals and nitrogen.
Rhubarb is a beginner friendly plant that is easy to grow and has good tolerances to cold, heat, frosts and droughts. Rhubarb is a perennial that produces year after year so take care to choose a planting site where it can grow for many years undisturbed. Choose a location that's in full sun for at least 5 hours a day, rhubarb plants grow quicker the more sunlight they receive. Gardeners in warmer climate may prefer to grow rhubarb in light shade to reduce heat stress on plants during the hottest part of the day. Rhubarb grows best in soils rich in organic matter, if your soil is lacking place down a layer of compost or well-rotted manure prior to planting. Top dress around rhubarb plants with an organic fertiliser twice a year, ideally with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser source in Spring to promote leaf growth and a phosphorous-rich fertiliser source in Autumn to promote root growth before Winter. Remove any flower stalks as soon as they form to prevent rhubarb plants expending their energy on flowering.
When to Sow:
In cold and mountainous regions of Australia sow rhubarb seeds from mid to late Spring. In temperate regions of Australia sow rhubarb seeds from early to mid Spring. In subtropical regions of Australia sow rhubarb seeds from late Winter to early Spring. Rhubarb is unlikely to grow well in the tropics.
How to Sow:
Sow rhubarb seeds 5mm deep. For optimum seedling vigour sow two rhubarb seeds per planting hole and thin to the healthiest seedling a couple of weeks after germination. Leave sufficient space around rhubarb plants as their root systems are aggressive and will compete with other plants, leaving about 75cm between rhubarb plants is ideal.
Rhubarb is quick to germinate, most seedlings will emerge 10 to 14 days after sowing the seeds.
Time to Harvest:
It's best not to harvest rhubarb in its first year of growth to allow the leaves to store plenty of energy into the developing crown. Expect to be able to start harvesting rhubarb stems 12 to 18 months after sowing the seeds.