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By Hank

Cheshire, United Kingdom Gb

A friend gave me a rhubarb root about 3 years and while it supples me with nice early sticks it doesn’t seem to grow at all - is there anything I can do to encourage the damn thing ? Another friend gave me a recipe for rhubarb crumble which I just love but it asked for 10 sticks and I only had 5 so I cut everything else down by 50% and made it, but I forgot to cut the Flour down so while it wasn’t perfect I still enjoyed it.
And I still haven’t got 10 decent sticks this week




They are thirsty and hungry plants so keep feeding and watering it. but for one crown that looks a good sized plant.

8 Apr, 2020


Oh, right thanks S. So I need a couple more roots ? i havent a clue have I ?

8 Apr, 2020


It doesn't seem long since you planted it Hank - how time flies! I think you are over picking it. I would not pick at all from a plant that size. If you have access to some good farmyard muck it would love a dose of that. Otherwise some Growmore and some compost top dressing and don't pull any more, difficult though that will be! My son did the same thing - just picked it too enthusiastically and too often. It needs a good rest and a good meal. And when you do eventually pull some more don't take more than one stalk at a time from each little centre - otherwise you will weaken the plant again. As you are a big rhubarb fan you've suggested your own solution - get some more crowns! (and plant them a bit further from the edge of the bed so they can expand) Believe me, I have been growing the stuff for well over 40 years...

8 Apr, 2020


Just had another thought . When you can finally risk just one stick try combining it with a large apple in your crumble.. It reduces the amount of sugar you need too but you can still taste the rhubarb.. I would forget the recipe that needs 10 sticks - two or three makes enough crumble for two of us. With the apple there's enough for two days.If you use oats instead of flour for the topping it absorbs a lot less of the juice (and is better for you as well - what's not to like?)

9 Apr, 2020


Great idea Sue and I have just the apple tree to do the job - well, in a little while I will have. Would you believe it once I’d been given the plant I expected it to double in size each year and eventually fill the raised bed I put it in. Shows my ignorance but I must get a couple more roots Asap.
Are there different types or is rhubarb just rhubarb .

9 Apr, 2020


Bless you Hank! Yes there are lots of varieties, some earlier than others.Try putting Rhubarb Varieties into Google and you'll see the range available. Re the apple tree, by the time the apples are ready the rhubarb will have finished - but you can always freeze either to do a catchup!
Rhubarb is a very hungry plant,especially when used a lot.
So lots of food,lots of restraint and patience. And if you want to pick a lot you'll need lots more plants and keep the brakes on - only one stick from each little group and then wait until its recovered..
And remember you shouldn't pick from a new plant in its first year. Oh its a hard life...

9 Apr, 2020


Thanks again Sue, I guess I’m about as good at gardening as I am at cooking. Have printed your 2 replies off. I will look seriously into rhubarb henceforth.

10 Apr, 2020

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