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Forcing Rhubarb
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Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 7:03 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I'm not sure that different cultivars would make any difference. In my view, you have removed the cover too early - early to mid-April is the usual time for outdoor forced rhubarb. The pots are put on in the winter and packed around with manure to provide the heat which forces the plant. When the pot is removed, just leave the manure there to feed the plant. The forced plant should be left to rest for next year.
Indoor forcing is slightly diffrent, and with heat, this is when you can get very early rhubarb.

Because of the resting the plant part, I don;t force mine, but wait until it is ready outside; we've had one good picking already, and it's ready for another one today or tomorrow. The othr plant is slower in coming through this year due to chicken attentions but I don;t mind, as this will stagger the crop. I usually bottle what I don't use fresh, as it keeps its colour and texture much better.
So, if I were you, I would pop the pot back on for a while yet.
Hope this helps.

gardengirl



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it looks delicous ! After 9 years of trying to grow rhubarb here, I have finally succeeded with a stool hubbie got from his mother's garden, it's been there 60 odd years, sorry no idea what it's called ! Sometimes moving it might help ? They grow better in some places than others.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Perhaps I should have said blanching some. I just wanted to try it to see if how well it worked - and it did! If you go the whole forcing route the I assume you carry on picking and placing the pot back.

With reference to the taste, our un-forced plants have been a little disappointingly and don't have much flavour. Forcing they are a little better, but still not what I expect. When I had 'Gardening Which?' they suggested there was quite a difference in taste with different cultivars. I don't think it's worth trying here as rhubarb are one of the many plants that like a rich, deep, moist soil. Not how I would describe chalk even after adding plenty of organic matter each season.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Naah, rhubarbb will grow on practically anything. It'll almost grow on the pavement. If you're worried about your soil then mix in a whole load of well rotted muck before you plant it.

The problem with seed for rhubarb is that it doesn't really breed true; the flavour can vary in intensity and the form of the plants can be every so slightly different. It's hard to put yourfinger on whats often wrong with plants from seed, but 'disappointing' is a good summary.

That said, buying young crowns ain't expensive. Bear in mind that a mature plant can give you something like five pounds of rhubarb a year, and you'll soon realise that the price you pay for a few crowns will pay off.

Bunging Glaskins perpetual into Ebay yielded this:
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Jane-Lane-Nursery_Vegetables_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQftidZ2QQsclZ1QQtZkm

Might be worth dropping her an email to see if the rhubarb was split from good crowns or from seed last year (Glaskins perpetual and Victoria are fine varieties; they're the ones I've planted on my plot this year, and they're the ones we had in the most inhospitable corner of our garden for years when I was a kid).

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've also read that the seed is very variable and each of our crowns are quite different in colour and taste. It also bolts very quickly - there are flower bud on it now.

I would disagree with the soil comments. I gave my mum a crown from the same batch as ours and that's gone mad. It looks like a different type of plant. She has a rich alluvial soild and it's quite damp. I do give our plants plent of manure, compost & water but they just don't produce much.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
I've also read that the seed is very variable and each of our crowns are quite different in colour and taste. It also bolts very quickly - there are flower bud on it now.

I would disagree with the soil comments. I gave my mum a crown from the same batch as ours and that's gone mad. It looks like a different type of plant. She has a rich alluvial soild and it's quite damp. I do give our plants plent of manure, compost & water but they just don't produce much.


That's interesting... How much light does it get? It needs that. The only thing it normally hates is being too wet, if the crown gets and stays damp you're in trouble.

I've seen rhubbarb eat the rubble left when a house was knocked down; five years after the house fell over, the rhubarb had eaten the garden. Ten years after it ate the house rubble. Twenty years after and some git had built a giant angel close by and the land was built on again, ruining my old free rhubarb supply (although Gateshead is a hell of a long way to go for rhubarb).

That bloogy angel also ruined the shaggy cap mushrooms that used to grow where it stands, but that's another story.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    



cab you are unbelievable

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 05 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd like to transplant some fruit and veg up into the wood, which has a very wet peat basd soil. What will do well there?...I was thinking about fruit bushes, rhubarb, maybe strawberries on a dry bit.....Possibly some veg...views, anyone?

gavin



Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 93
Location: Leeds, W Yorks
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As somebody who lives on the edge of the rhubarb triangle, I ought to be able to shed some light ---- but I've never tried to force rhubarb.

On our allotment site, some of us have very early, and some much later varieties - and names long forgotten! What's importnat is being able to offer people around you rhubarb when they have none.

Fwiw, I'm guessing your pot was too small, and lifted too early? (for forced rhubarb - but better for the plant)?

This site http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/ is a good source.

All best - Gavin

[edit]Smugly - our rhubarb is tiny today, but a lad next door has invited us to pick what we want from his bed; stunningly lush, strong growth. [/edit]

gardengirl



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

madman have you ever heard of robert hart, he wrote a book called Forest gardening, his was done on a plot in England, I think it would be right up your alley.

moggins



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 942
Location: Gloucester
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ho do you stop it spreading? Every year mine attempts to take over the garden, it's like a triffid, it expands onto the path and attempts to take your feet out from under you.

Mine is only just starting to appear but I can already see it's covering a much larger area than last year

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can't stop it spreading as such; if there is to much, dig up a crown, split into several pieces, each with a good bit of root and a strong bud on, then move them elsewhere or give them away/swap/sell whatever.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14972
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The RHS did an article on woodland gardening last year sometime. if you're a member, you might be able to access archives or something?

Deedee



Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 250
Location: Surrey
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a question about rhubarb which hopefully someone can help me with My cousin is over from the States and while we were chatting about gardens and what we grow she mentioned she is missing rhubarb as she can't buy it over there..could she grow it (she lives in California) and if so is it legal to take seeds in to the states I think plants are not allowed but thought she might get away with some seeds

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 05 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure Deedee, the US is a lot touchier about imports than the EU, and quite rightly with the fact that such differing climates/flora/fauna can mean something perfectly harmless here can be a monster over there and vice versa.

My only helpful advice is, drop DEFRA or Customs and Excise a line, I had a similar enquiry because I wanted to take home saved seed to France and they were remarkably quick about replying (I'm not claiming they are good people but you might as well make them work for your taxes ).

Oooh and, have a look at the T&M site; they have a catalogue for the US so if you can find the seed on the US online catalogue, I should imagine it will be fine to take it. That's if T&M does rhubarb seed

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