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Cultivation Guide – Rhubarb

Avoid planting clean stocks of rhubarb on soil where old stocks of rhubarb have been growing and preferably not where brassicas have grown the previous year, Rhubarb will establish and grow well on a wide range of soil but sites with bad drainage should be avoided, dig the site deeply and mix in compost before planting. Plant firmly and he sure to level a thin layer of soil over the buds and then tread firmly again to ensure that the soil ‘hugs’ the newly planted crowns. Plant 3′ apart.

Planting Pot Raised Plants

Cut off the very large leaves as these usually wither and die if planting in summer. Thoroughly soak the pots prior to planting (approximately 1/2 hour) and allow to drain. Tear off the whalehide container before planting as if left on this results in poor establishment. GENERAL CULTURE. Water as necessary in spring and summer and avoid pulling sticks in the first year. In future years never pull of all the sticks at one time, always leaving at least two sticks with leaves. This ensures that the plant is strengthened again for the next season. If flowering seed heads appear these should be removed as they show because they will only exhaust the plant.


Feed in early spring with Sulphate of Ammonia at 2oz per square yard or with a general Growmore fertilizer at 4oz per square yard if you feel this is necessary. If your soil is acid an occasional dressing of lime may be required.


Crops intended for forcing should be planted for at least 18 months, before forcing. Cover the crowns with straw or a similar material in January and place upturned dustbins, boxes, buckets etc. over them. Sheltered in the darkness the buds will quickly produce long, tender stalks and by late April, the covering should be removed and the crown allowed to grow naturally. Do not use the same crown for forcing for another 2 years for the best results.

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