How to Grow Rhubarb
Cooked rhubarb can be a delicous addition to apple pie. Once established, this long-lived perennial looks after itself year after year.
- Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
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When to Plant: late autumn
At Its Best: early summer
Time to Complete: 1 hour
- rhubarb plant
- slug pellets or a slug ring
Choose an Open, Sunny Site
Dig in organic matter, plant and water in well. Protect your plant from slugs, either by using a copper slug ring or with a few slug pellets.
Water during dry spells. Feed every spring with an organic liquid fertilizer, and mulch with compost. Don't pull any stalks the first year and only one or two in the second year. After that you can harvest more. To harvest, pull and slightly twist the stems.
Top Tip: Forcing Rhubarb
Forcing rhubarb, by excluding all light when it first sprouts, results in sweeter, more tender stalks. As soon as you notice new shoots starting to appear in spring, cover the plant with a light-excluding barrier, such as a metal bucket, a box, or a rhubarb forcer, which will draw up the sweet stalks. The tender stems will be ready to pick about four weeks later — a month or so earlier than other rhubarb. Pick this crop, then leave the plant to recover for the rest of the year and the following year.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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