Force rhubarb

Start rhubarb forc­ing

Gardeners' World - - What To Do Now -

Soon rhubarb will be ready for har­vest. The ear­li­est shoots are the sweet­est, but you can go one bet­ter by forc­ing them to grow in the dark for the most ten­der, sweet­est shoots of all. You can only do this at the start of the sea­son, then the plant must be al­lowed to grow in nor­mal light to re­cover some of its en­ergy. Look for early, mid and late-shoot­ing va­ri­eties so you can grow the plants in suc­ces­sion. Two early cul­ti­vars are ‘Tim­per­ley Early’ and ‘Cham­pagne’; ‘ Vic­to­ria’ is a pop­u­lar late va­ri­ety while ‘Liv­ing­stone’ is an au­tumn cropper.

1 WEED around the crown, select some buds to cover and make the ground level be­fore putting the forc­ing jar over them.

2 TAKE the lid off to check for growth, when the buds break they grow fast. Re­place the lid mak­ing sure no light’s get­ting in.

3 HAR­VEST when there are sev­eral long thin stems with pale leaves. Pull the stems from the base rather than cut­ting them.

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