Maker of clothes, recipes, natural fabric dyeing, Gardener of veg, fruit and flowers.

Maker of clothes, recipes, natural fabric dyeing, Gardener of veg, fruit and flowers.

Growing and harvesting rhubarb

This a blog post on growing and harvesting rhubarb. I have been growing rhubarb for a few years. From crowns and seeds. Yes, it is possible to grow rhubarb from seed. Growing from seed will take a while for the plant to be established. Compared to starting rhubarb from crowns. Crowns are plants that are 1 year old and it’s normally sold bare rooted. Here is a blog post on growing and harvesting rhubarb.

young rhubard grown from seed
young plant

Rhubarb are fairly easy to grow just need to remember to protect young plants from snails and slugs. Yes it is possible to grow it from seed however it takes at least a year to establish it properly before you can harvest the leaves.

rhubarb growing in new season
starting in new season

During the growing season rhubarb needs a fair bit of watering and manure compost. The plant will die down in autumn and come back to spring in March. It’s depending on which part of the country you are located. During the autumn-winter season while there is no need to dif out rhubarb and store it just put some hay, straw or mulch around it so that it acts as a layer of the blanket around the plant. this is to protect it from frost.

Force rhubarb

Ever heard of force rhubarb is where the plant is covered so as to force it to produce young tender leaves. This is normally done when the plant is at least two years old as it takes a lot of the plant energy.  Forcing is done by covering a clay post around the plant come spring. That is why you will find force rhubarb in shops come spring and the stem are much more tender. Less grizzly or hard stems compare to ordinary grown ones.


To harvest rhubarb one needs to be careful just by pulling at the stem out rather than cutting them. As it will cause crown rot when the rotting will take place the stem has been cut. Also not to harvest too many stems but leave some to grow year after year. No, it’s not a plant that grows forever.  However, some say they can last up to 20 years!! Either sow them from seed again or mature plant will throw some crown when they are older just gently separate them. As a result, you will get another young plant again. Leaves are poisonous so always get rid of them as soon as you harvest them The leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid which is dangerous to the body when ingested.

Here is a link to my other grow you own food at home. Pak choi, lemongrass and many more others. Royal Horticultural society has great advice on gardening here is the link.

They are great to serve as a dessert with it’s tart flavour. Rhubarb crumble yummy!!

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