Rhubarb, rhubarb…

Jenny writes: April sunshine is warming the soil and rhubarb is emerging from its winter slumber. I’d removed the black plant pot that covers the top of the plant during February and March, a couple of weeks ago, and these glorious ruby coloured sprouts have appeared.

Rhubarb likes a sunny spot in the garden that isn’t waterlogged in winter or it can be grown in large pots (at least 50cm wide/deep). Keep the crown of the rhubarb plant free from weeds and uncovered, so it doesn’t rot. Feed it in spring with some general fertiliser. Water in very dry weather. You can cover the crown of the plant with a pot or ‘rhubarb forcer’ to cut out the light and encourage growth in the early part of the season.

Harvest about a two thirds of the stalks each year. Pull or cut the stalks away from the bottom of the plant and discard the leaves (they’re poisonous). Eat stalks raw when young and sweet – dip in sugar if they’re too tart. Experiment with rhubarb crumble, bake in a cake or try making rhubarb syllabub! Yuuum!

Happy gardening, Jenny

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