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Why Grow It

A healthy rhubarb plant will last up to 10 years, so it’s an incredibly valuable investment. It is typically the first new season crop of the year, providing bountiful food from March onwards.

  • Rhubarb will grow in most soils, provided it is reasonably fertile. Though we suggest digging in well-rotted compost or manure into the planting holes.
  • Make sure soil also has no perennial weeds before planting.
  • It is very important that you choose your site carefully, as the plants will be in situ for up to a decade if you’re lucky. It should be a site that’s quite sunny, as rhubarb won’t do well in shade.
  • Rhubarb should give a good yield, so three plants is more than enough if you are just growing for a household.
  • Rhubarb should be planted in late autumn or winter. It can be sown from seeds, but the best way to establish a rhubarb bed is to plant a young rhubarb plant (these can be acquired from garden centres or nurseries). You can also plant from divisions of an established plants if you know someone with an existing rhubarb bed.
  • Plant rhubarb 60cm apart with the buds just above the ground to prevent rotting.
  • Water in dry weather (this is especially important in the first year of growing) and watch out for weeds.
  • After the first year adding an annual winter mulching with well-rotted manure or compost will help the plants greatly.
  • If the vigour of the plant starts to decline (poor yields or very thin stalks), then it is a good idea to split the plant the following winter and replant.
  • Don’t harvest rhubarb in its first season – you want to concentrate on building vigour in the plant for the first year and then start harvesting in the second year.
  • When harvesting rhubarb, take a hold of the stalk low down and pull it off, rather than cutting.
  • Don’t harvest after July or you will reduce the yield for the following spring.
  • Timperley Early
  • Champagne
  • Rhubarb is a generally healthy plant. Old plants can get viruses or problems with fungi. If so, dig up the plants and start on a fresh site, with new plants.
  • “Forcing” rhubarb is where we cover the plants in early spring to
    force them to produce a very early, blanched crop. It can be done by either (a) lifting the plant in winter and growing it in tub in a dark garage or basement or (b) in situ by covering the plant with a rhubarb pot (or similar) for about 5 weeks.
  • Apply a liquid feed if plant is looking poorly in spring.