Is it Ok to keep picking rhubarb


I thought i'd seen a comment about picking rhubarb recently but cannot find it despite using the search facility.

Having neglected my rhubarb plants for a while, they are now really big with some very big stems. Is it OK to pick and eat this now- they're still quite green?

i know i should leave a few stems and not use the whole plant.



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,143

    After mid July, the stems contain more and more oxalic acid which can cause stomach upsets and exacerbate arthritis and gout in susceptible people.   The advice is always to stop picking by end of July which also allows the plants to build up reserves for next year's crop.

    The Vendée, France
  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Obelixx, you star :- )   I've always known about not picking after mid July but I've never known the reason why.

    sthindngrower - my rhubarb has enormous stalks too, much better looking than the ones during the picking season!

  • thank you Obelixx i won't take a chance in this. what a shame though, agree with you FloBear- the rhubarb is looking so much better now and there's loads of it.... i was just fantasising about rhubarb crumble!

    I'll wait till next year.

    Many thnaks both. image

  • I knew you had to stop eating rhubarb after a certain time but never knew the reason why. Think my rhubarb is taking over the world keep 1hacking it back as its encroaching over the path. Thanx for the info.image

  • Just worked out how to do the smiley faceimageimageDoh

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,143

    My rhubarb  - a dozen large plants - was also looking very healthy till the gales arrived on Sunday night.  It's now looking very flat with nearly all the stems broken off at the base.   I shall let it flop and go limp and then divide it between the .compost heaps.

    I usually force one or two plants for early spring crops then leave those to rest and pick from the other plants - lots of stewed rhubarb, baked rhubarb, crumbles, cakes and chutney.   Yum!  But not after July as I have arthritic bits and OH gets gout occasionally.


    The Vendée, France
  • I just have 2 plants and they seem to provide enough for my family and friends. Not a lot of space at allotment as i always want to grow so many other things

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Now, Maud, are you quite sure you didn't plant gunnera by mistake?   ;- )



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,143

    I also supply our neighbours whose soil is too sandy, despite lashings of manure from their riding school and some friends too as they have either the wrong soil or insufficent space.

    I've tried growing gunnera but 3 plants have been clobbered by winter frosts despite having thick blankets of garden compost so I give up.   Ornamental rhubarb is much more robust and does very well over by the pond.

    The Vendée, France
  • Lap top went silly on me. Definately a rhubarb I bought it at local garden centre with some other plants and the chap that served me thought i was such a nice young lady it gave it too me for free. Not bad at 51 being called young ladyimage

  • Blimey Maud image I would have thought it was a gunnera too!

    Your rhubarb crumbles must be gigantic image

  • Oh yes  you are always well fed when you come to my house you normally end up drunk as well on the sloe gin or parsnip wine.Hicimage

  • Your home is my kind of home then image


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,143

    My in-laws - now deceased - used to make home made wine from all sorts of stuff they grew at home or garnered in hedgerows, including dandelions.    Definitely a taste I did not acquire.

    The Vendée, France
  • The most lethal one we made was from plums had a hangover for 4 days after that one. Funny thing is i dont drink these days, maybe the odd glass of wine but thats it.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    I remember sampling some home made elderberry wine many years ago. It worked...and I've never ever ever wanted to repeat the experience.

  • Sloe gin is lovely although it is a bugger washing all the sloes and then making a small cut in each one. I picked 11lbs of sloes last year when i was on holiday in the New Forest. Think i've only had 1 small glass of it.......just popping out to the kitchen. Hic

  • Im still here. Think it will be an M and S lasagne for tea.

Sign In or Register to comment.