If you have a large clump of rhubarb in the garden, try forcing a part of it using the ‘Wakefield’ method. This involves cutting off part of the root and taking it into a warm environment. N.B. This part of the root will not be able to be used again after the forcing season.
very time consuming it is essential that the whole of the petiole is removed intact from the root. This necessitates that a finger is inserted between the stick and the bud, and gently pushed to the base of the bud before simultaneously twisting and pulling. Any remnants of the stick base would rot, causing a botrytis problem, so again gently does it. rhubarb-bed-autumn
The forcing process is:
- After a period of frost, cut a large part of the crown (the fleshy rhizomes and buds) with a spade, about 12 inches deep, and 12 inches square.
- Leave this crown lump on the surface of the soil for 8 days to expose it to the light
- Then bring it into a dark, warm place (about 60 degrees F) for forcing. lthough
Harvest the shoots when they are about 10inches long.
Insert a finger between the stalk and the bud, and gently push to the base of the bud before simultaneously twisting and pulling. This ensures that the whole stalk is removed. If part is left it will rot and spoil subsequent growth.
If this sounds rather complicated a simpler way to force rhubarb is to cover the rhubarb clump in the garden, to keep the light out, with straw or a large pot.
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