Friday, 17 June 2016

It's rhubarb growing time.

We picked some lovely rhubarb today. All the rain we've been having has helped the stalks to thicken up. Remember the leaves are poisonous!

The plant looks a bit dessimated now but it will soon recover.

We like our rhubarb in a crumble with hot custard but there are other nice recipes too.  My mother-in-law gave me a tip years ago. To sweeten the rhubarb, add some honey or golden syrup. The syrupy texture makes it even more delicious. I like to cook mine with a sliced or chopped cooking apple. Rhubarb on its own can be a bit hard to digest!

Rhubarb is root propagated. The crowns can be bought for Spring planting. When you plant them, keep the crown just above the surface of the soil.  Plant the crowns in March, 2 1/2 ft. apart.

Ground that is to receive rhubarb roots should be very deeply dug and well manured, as after this preparatory work the roots will not be disturbed for several years. During wintertime you can add a top dressing of rotted vegetable matter. Remove any flower heads that appear.  In the first year don't pull; pull sparingly in the second season. In future years, rhubarb can be pulled until August.

Later on rhubarb roots will need to be divided. You can lift them in the Spring or in the Autumn. Cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife and replant. You must have a crown attached to each portion for the planting to be effective.

Happy Gardening!