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. Here is a place online on where to buy rhubarb seeds. 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 dig 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.

Once the rhubarb plant starts to mature after a few years, it will produce small young plants around the plant. Dive them and plant them somewhere else. During autumn or early spring. Rhubarb plants can last for about 10 years after that as the plant gets old it will need replacing.

Rhubarb needs a good drain soil and a bit of sun to thrive and produce nice big leaves. Personally, I find that rhubarb doesn’t thrive too well on heavy clay soil. I found this out when I move the rhubarb plants to a different place and it grew so well and big. So if the rhubarb plant doesn’t thrive try moving it to a different spot.

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.

Growing and harvesting rhubarb
plant with leave in bloom

Harvesting rhubarb

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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