Can you eat rhubarb in august?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “can you eat rhubarb in august?”. We will also discuss what rhubarb is, the safety of eating rhubarb in august, when to harvest rhubarb and the possibility of rhubarb being toxic in summer, when rhubarb is ripe and how to harvest. 

Can you eat rhubarb in august?

Yes, you can eat rhubarb in August. Rhubarb is commonly harvested in the spring and can still be harvested in early summer and even later during the season. 

However, this is the time the plant needs energy stored in it for reproduction. It is highly advised to limit the harvesting and consumption of rhubarb to avoid stressing the plant and killing it off totally.

What is rhubarb? 

Rhubarb is a hardy perennial with big leaves and pink, crimson, or greenish leaf stalks that are commonly used in pies and crumbles as a dessert. The sweetness of rhubarb varies depending on how old the stems are.

Is it safe to eat rhubarb in august?

It is safe to eat rhubarb in august with no safety threat. However, because the plant is now in the process of bolting, the stalks may be woody and less flavourful. However, it is important to limit harvesting at this time so as to avoid killing the plant. 

When to harvest rhubarb?

The stalks of rhubarb plant can be plucked from well-established plants starting in March or April for early cultivars, and late April or May for maincrop varieties. 

Although the stems are still edible and tasty throughout the summer, it is better to cease harvesting by June, or at the very least take only a few stalks after that, so the plant does not become overly stressed.

Does the rhubarb plant become toxic during the summer?

The greatest time to pick rhubarb stalks is in the spring and early summer, however, they are not dangerous or poisonous in the late summer as several people have assumed. Rhubarb stalks can be consumed throughout the summer. 

However, there are a few compelling reasons to avoid eating them in the summer such as, in the late summer, the stalks become woody and also lose their flavour. Likewise, If you remove too many stalks in the spring, the plant will require some leaves to produce food for the following year’s crop. Harvesting the plant regularly will eventually destroy it.

How to tell if rhubarb is ripe?

Harvesting rhubarb is as simple as going out to the plant to see if the rhubarb is ripe. A rhubarb is “ripe” throughout the spring and summer, usually. However, there are specific occasions when you should harvest rhubarb for the sake of the plant’s health.

  • Rhubarb is ready to be harvested when the stalks of the leaves reach a length of at least 10 inches or 25 centimetres. This will ensure that the plant has established itself sufficiently for the year to be harvested. You can harvest some rhubarb stalks earlier, but only a few stalks at a time so the plant does not die.
  • When it comes to rhubarb, it is important to know when to harvest as it also means understanding when the season is done. While you can technically gather rhubarb until the fall, bear in mind that your rhubarb plant has to conserve energy for the winter. Limit or avoid rhubarb harvesting in late June or early July to allow your rhubarb plant to save enough energy to make it through the winter. 
  • Rhubarb can also be plucked until the first frost, but do it sparingly or the plant will die. 
  • Additionally, if your rhubarb is just planted, you should wait two years before harvesting the entire plant. This will ensure that the plant has enough time to establish itself.

How to harvest rhubarb?

Harvesting rhubarb is also a simple task to achieve. You can harvest rhubarb in two ways. 

  • Cutting off stalks that are at least 10 inches or 25 cm long with a sharp knife or shears is one option. 
  • Secondly, you can harvest the rhubarb by carefully peeling the stalk away from the plant while bending it to one side. However, you should never have all of the rhubarb stalks removed from the plant.
  • Trim the leaves from the stalks and toss them in the compost bin after you have cut the stalks from the plant. The rhubarb plant’s leaves are poisonous and should not be consumed. Rhubarb can be harvested in a variety of ways, and the delectable stalks can be used in a range of recipes.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have answered the question “can you eat rhubarb in august?”. We have also discussed what rhubarb is, the safety of eating rhubarb in august, when to harvest rhubarb and the possibility of rhubarb being toxic in summer, when rhubarb is ripe and how to harvest it. 

Citation 

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/rhubarb/harvesting-rhubarb.htm
https://www.rhs.org.uk/vegetables/rhubarb/grow-your-own

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.