Planting in heavy clay soil

I am wondering if I should plant my rhubarb in the next month or wait until spring because I have very heavy clay soil. The soil was rotavated with machinary and I have worked in compost and fym mix last week. I know that I should wait at least a month until I plant my crowns to allow the mix to settle. (I have Timperley early variety from Suttons) . The normal time to plant is in November? I read elsewhere that I should leave it until spring because of the heavy clay soil. I am in two minds because I think if I rotavated the ground and added soil improvers then this shouldn't be necessary. Any tips and advice would be gratefully received.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    What you can do is leave it till spring, leaving the clay exposed to the frost, which will help break the clay down, improving the structure of the soil.

    Its up to you really.

  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,206

    Research "Gypsum " on the web and then decide if its for you

    I experimented and added some to my 2 compacted beds in this spring and will see if the soil is looser soon

    Experiment...make mistakes and be confident !!!

    Never change Tigers in Mid Stream
  • Thanks everyone.

    I have been experimental in my approach to gardening but like everyone else I don't want to lose my plant stock! I am making a go at being self sufficient and budget is an issue too so fingers crossed xxxx
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,660

    Rhubarb is pretty tough in my experience, and don't forget that it's a native of Siberia. It'll probably be fine if you plant it now - the relative warmth of the soil should outweigh your other considerations.  But if you don't think the soil is ready just yet then leave it a bit, but I'd hope to get it in by February - if it's very claggy then I'd dig in some grit as well as having added the FYM etc.  

    And don't forget, don't pull any stems in the first year after planting - it will produce much better in the following years image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    On heavy clay as well.I put in rhubarb for the first time about four years ago,it was planted in January,after several hard frosts had made the soil more managable.As Dove said I did dig in some grit to loosen the soil further.

    Small crop in year two,much better this year.

  • Thanks dove and gillyL will definitely have to add grit x
Sign In or Register to comment.