Thursday, 7 April 2011

It's official, I cannot grow Rhubarb

For the second year running my rhubarb has decided that April is the right time to flower.

Either I have the wrong variety for Cumbria, or it is in the wrong location, or both, or I just can't grow the bloody stuff. The larger of the two plants has ten flower spikes.
Ten? it's taking the *****

I'm going to let it flower just for the hell of seeing what it looks like then the whole lot will be dug up and got rid of. A neighbour has expressed an interest in taking the crowns - I think they're mad but they are welcome to them.

Wonder what I can put in this bed instead?


  1. What's wrong with yanking the flower spike off when you first see them? And why aren't you eating all that lovely rhubarb?

    All the rhubarb at the Hill would flower given half a chance, but it doesn't get half a chance!

  2. Of course it will go to seed if you let it, that's exactly what it is on the planet for. If I were you I'd follow Hazel's advice and pull the flower heads off as soon as they appear and let the plant put it's energy into producing more leaf stalks. And hurry up and get it eaten while it's at it's best.

  3. Our rhubrab flowers too but we just cut the flower sten off - we still get a crop.

  4. Hmm, I tried just cutting the flower stem off last year and from that point the rhubarb was stringy and bitter. Season has barely started over here and already the damn stuff is trying to go over. Nah, we like rhubarb but not enough to fight with it every year. Perhaps artichokes would like this bed better?

  5. I just cut off flower spikes and let the plant get on with growing. I did not pull any stems at all for about 2 or 3 years after planting to let the crowns develop.


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