Forum home Fruit & veg

How Tom grow rhubarb & when?

please can the members advise on growing rhubarb . What should I buy and when should I plant? Thanks all



  • ThankthecatThankthecat North DevonPosts: 411

    Seven years ago I bought Timperley Early and Victoria. The Timperley Early has been amazingly productive and I am dividing the crown for the first time this weekend. I will be getting rid of the Victoria after next year, once I can pull the newly divided Timperley Early, as Victoria has always produced weedy little stems and very few of them. I've never grown rhubarb before buying these two so can't comment on other varieties, but I've been very happy with the taste, texture and quantity of stems from that one plant. I should think you could plant any time from now until maybe very early spring?

  •   hi  Maggie.welsh    hi Maggie there is lots of good different types of  rhubarb the one I have a old mate sadly in big garden in sky gave me yrs ago I have split it over yrs..... about 5yrs I let a lump go to seed and kept seeds  so far I have gave away about 8 plants  can not remember name  it was a well known one at time  but back to you if you buy a crown /or piece / very easy to grow  keep it in big pot  till after winter (  in case it is not hardy enough ) and then put out in ground  in garden  I just took my last of3weeks ago it was still a big crown      .got leeks to do now for leek/tattie broth (  I have to force my self to have 2 bowls ??????hope it helps   Michael image

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,217

    I grew rhubarb very successfully in the garden we have just left behind in Belgium and which hit temps as low as -32C one freak winter's night.   It will do well in partial shade or full sun if there's plenty of rain and it likes a rich, organic soil full of well-rotted manure and garden compost at planting time.   To protect the crown through winter, pile on a generous dollop of garden compost which the worms will work into the soil over winter.

    Choose a variety you fancy, Timperley is good and so is Champagne for flavour.  Water during dry spells and don't pick any stems in its first year so the leaves feed the roots to make a strong plant.   In subsequent years, Harvest up to half the stems up until mid to late July which is when levels of oxalic acid rise and can affect taste as well as causing gout or arthritis in susceptible people.   It also needs its foliage form then on to store energy for next year's crop.

    I find it useful to have two crowns so that one can be forced under an upturned pot or dustbin for early, tender crops.   Once these pink stems have been picked it needs to be left to recover for a whole season so you then harvest stems off the other plant and alternate them each year.  Remove any flower stalks as soon as they appear as they sap energy.

    Mine did so well with this regime I had to divide them every 3 years and ended up with a huge bed of 9 fat crowns and gave away lots of spares to good homes.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,698

    I think the best time to plant rhubarb crowns (which is quickest, although you can grow it from seed) is November/December when it's dormant. 

    I've got Stockbridge Arrow and Timperley Early here, both growing in partial shade. I've got clay soil. They both thrive.  My crowns came one from a garden centre (Timperley) and one a division of a plant in my mother's garden. There is at least one autumn cropping variety (can't remember the name) if you simply can't be without rhubarb after midsummer. 

    Once it's growing, it's an easy plant image

    “There is no military solution
    Doesn't always end up as something worse”
  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532

    You can get one from DT brown seeds called Pultons pride you can harvest all year.image

  • wigeonwigeon cheshire Posts: 36

    hello can i dig the crown up now to replant or is it best left alone .where it is at the moment it is not sprouting or should i leave it and dig in some compost . cheers peter.

  • hi peter if it is not harming anything why split it if you are wanting to split it   don't think any reason why not as long as you put in good compost and don't let it die long as you realise that you will have to leave it for a good year ( I would also put compost and a bit growmore )  to help along    hope it is some help        Michael

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,802

    If it's not producing well give it a good mulch with well rotted farmyard manure (don't cover the crown but cover the area where the roots are for a circle about 3 ft in diameter).  You don't need to dig it in - the worms will do that job for you.

    In the summer make sure it has plenty of water - it's a thirsty plant.

    Don't pull any stalks in 2017 - just keep it mulched and watered and leave it alone, removing any flower stalks that appear.

    You'll have plenty of rhubarb in 2018. image

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

  • wigeonwigeon cheshire Posts: 36

    thanks for reply michael . ye loads of compost etc in at start but done nothing thats why i thought to move might not like where it is or is that wrong . can i feed it now with a liquid fertilizer. peter.

Sign In or Register to comment.