1. Cut or tear rhubarb leaves into small pieces. Mary uses rhubarb from her garden, but if you need to buy some, you may find rhubarb with its leaves intact at a farmer's market. Most supermarkets sell it with the leaves removed.
  2. Place the leaves in the water and bring it to a rolling boil.
  3. Steep the leaves for at least an hour. Mary says she likes to steep them overnight.
  4. Shred the boiled leaves lurther in a blender, if desired. Strain the solution through the cheesecloth or sieve and pour it into a spray bottle. Add the leaf residue to your compost pile.

Blender (optional) Cheesecloth or line-mesh sieve Pump spray bottle

5. Spray affected plants thoroughly.

Yield: About 3 quarts of rhubarb-leaf spray

Note: Mary suggests making a new batch of rhubarb spray each time you want to spray. "I have been known to strain it and put it in the freezer," she says, "but I prefer a fresh mixture." She adds that you can also keep leftover spray—carefully labeled-—in the refrigerator; for a freshness check, be sure that it doesn't have an off odor. Or, if you have a spot where you'd like to lower the pH in your garden, just pour the excess rhubarb spray into your compost or soil for a slightly acidic boost.

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