As a follow up to our last post about the February Food Garden, today we’re featuring two more February favorites: Rhubarb and Horseradish! As with all edibles, timing is everything. We only have these transplants available for a short period of time. Once they’re gone, they’ll be gone until next year. Now’s the time to get planting!
Didn’t think you could grow rhubarb in Texas? Why, yes you can! With a little extra care, rhubarb can grow successfully in our climate. Plants may not live for twenty years, like they do in colder climates, but you can get two to three years of production. For the best success, we suggest planting this perennial edible in a location that receives some afternoon shade. While rhubarb needs direct sun to develop the red color in its stems, our hot Texas sun can be a little too intense for them and plants may wilt in hot afternoon sun.
Rhubarb also makes an excellent container plant. Feed through the growing season and water regularly. Come mid-summer, your rhubarb will be ready just in time to pick strawberries for strawberry-rhubarb pie! Only harvest and consume the stems: The leaves contain poisonous compounds.
If you love spicy foods, you will love fresh-from-the-garden horseradish! This vigorous and easy-to-grow perennial spreads and produces large attractive bright green foliage: Be sure to plant is somewhere it will have room to multiply. If you want to better control where your horseradish grows, plant it in containers. Its foliage looks lovely when combined with cool season color such as pansies and violas.
Root divisions are planted in February. In late summer through late fall, you can dig up and harvest some of the roots and then simply replant the crown.
To prepare horseradish, peel the harvested roots like you would a carrot, then then place the shavings in a food processor with a bit of vinegar and process. Enjoy it with everything from meats and hearty gravies to mashed potatoes and Bloody Marys!
Originally published February 2014
Questions about growing these delicious foods? Ask us in-store or on Facebook!
Read more about winter gardening:
Year-round Vegetable Gardening in North Texas
Homegrown Gourmet: Asparagus How-To
February Food Garden: Time for Potatoes and Asparagus