Directions

  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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