Rhubarb is a hardy, frost re­sis­tant plant

Rutherglen Reformer - - Green Fingers -

Rhubarb is one of the eas­ier veg­eta­bles to grow and un­like some other kinds it gets bet­ter as its ages.

It will flour­ish with­out too much at­ten­tion and will pro­vide you with sweet, de­li­cious stalks at a time when lit­tle else is ready for har­vest in the gar­den.

Rhubarb is a very hardy, frostre­sis­tant plant which ac­tu­ally re­quires a cold spell in the win­ter in or­der to pro­duce a good crop of rhubarb the fol­low­ing spring.

The most im­por­tant re­quire­ment this plant needs in or­der to thrive is space. Rhubarb roots grow deep and spread very far so the more space you can pro­vide the bet­ter.

You also want to make sure that the area does not re­ceive full sun.

Fi­nally be­fore you use the area to plant try to re­move any weeds or large rocks from the plant­ing area and for an ex­tra boost try adding some or­ganic mat­ter if the soil is poor.

Rhubarb can be pur­chased in the spring and there­after planted in the gar­den or al­ter­na­tively bought as a crown, which is a bare root form, and is best planted in the au­tumn.

Both meth­ods work well but I pre­fer to buy rhubarb crowns as they are much eas­ier to ob­tain and of­fer bet­ter value for money.

An­other good tip to learn about rhubarb is that it can be ‘ forced’ which means trick­ing the plant into a sim­ple process that pro­vides an ear­lier har­vest of sweeter stems. To do this cover plants with a con­tainer or pot to ex­clude the light. Do this as soon as the rhubarb be­gins to show signs of growth from the base.

The lack of light quickly causes the rhubarb to pro­duce stems which will be ready to har­vest from around three to six weeks.

If you want a healthy rhubarb plant it is best to avoid pulling any of the stocks from the plant for the first year.

To har­vest the rhubarb sim­ply pull the stock from the base of the plant and it should snap off with a lit­tle pres­sure. Do not how­ever eat the leaves of the plant as they are poi­sonous.

I hope you have found this week’s ar­ti­cle help­ful and if you have any ques­tions feel free to email me: jor­dan1­trainer1@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you with an an­swer.

If you want a healthy rhubarb plant it is best to avoid pulling any of the stocks from the plant for the first year

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