How to plant out rhubarb crowns

Here's a few tips for how to plant rhubarb crowns out in your garden...
 

  • When you receive your crowns from Sarah Raven, plant the bare roots in a pot and grow them on for about a month until the roots have filled the pot well. 
  • Then plant them out in a well-drained sunny area, which has not grown rhubarb in the last six years.
  • Dig in plenty of well rotted organic material. 
  • Plant the crowns 5cm below the soil surface. 
  • Don’t harvest anything in the first season. Just mulch your plants – not too close to the crown - and let them grow and establish themselves well. Simply allow the sticks of rhubarb to die back in the first autumn. 
  • Spread organic compost around the crown in its dormant winter phase. 
  • In the second season ie.about 12-14 months after planting, you can pick some outdoor rhubarb. To harvest properly, you need to pick everything that the plants is providing. New growth will be being produced all the time and you must pick it, even if it’s a tiny stick. If it’s not worth cooking, put it onto compost heap. Don’t leave it on the plant.
  • If you keep harvesting, it will keep producing. Harvested as heavily as this, you’ll need to replace your roots every 6-8 yrs, or rest them for a couple of years and then start again. 

Can you grow rhubarb in a container?

Rhubarb could be grown in a container, the container would need to be big enough (no smaller than 30cm) to accommodate growth and to avoid having to disturb the plant, the bigger the better really and good quality compost and lots of food. The container must be in full sun and have adequate drainage, but should be absolutely fine.  

Did you know that buy growing three different varieties, you can keep producing rhubarb from March until August...?

 - At Perch Hill Sarah grows her favourite varieties that fruit at different times, in order to enjoy the fresh produce for a longer period of the year. This successional growing technique is echoed throughout the vegetable patch, and also in the exclusive collections that Sarah creates for the catalogue.

For more tips on growing your own vegetable garden and how to plant specific varieties, grab a copy of Sarah's book The Great Vegetable Plot, and see the "How To" section of this website about how to grow your own food.

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