Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lifting and Dividing Rhubarb

It is at this time of year that you can maintain your rhubarb plants. Under the soil you will find a hard woody mass which contains the crowns, or buds for next year's crop. Rhubarb needs a good frosty period in order to ripen the crowns and produce a good crop. A good hard frost is just what it needs. Rhubarb is a greedy feeder and needs lashings and lashings of compost and manure. Here you will see that I have dug up a clump of about 4 or 5 crowns to give to my friend Stan for his veggie garden. Rhubarb does tend to get a bit tired and congested if you don't lift and divide your crowns every few years or so. It gives them a new lease of life.
This variety is Timperley Early. Once you have lifted and separated some new crowns and re-planted them, you must allow the plant a whole year to recover and you must not pick any rhubarb the following Summer. Then after one year you can start to pick sparingly. After about 3 years it will be in its element and producing a great crop. If you are not dividing your rhubarb this year, then take the time over the next few weeks to mulch a good few inches of well rotted manure on top of your rhubarb. It will pay you back in pies and crumbles next year!
And here is my crown of rhubarb being planted at its new home at Stan's house today. All I asked in return was a bowl of homemade parsnip and apple soup, and some freshly cooked chocolate brownies. A fair exchange, don't you think?


At 8:47 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Hi Matron, you did a good deal there and no mistake - Stan wouldn't like something of mine would he? I'll probably have a few socks or something going spare after Christmas if they're any good to him. Watch where you get that manure from Matron because I heard some disturbing news about manure from the guy at the garden centre. Apparently the thing with the weedkiller contamination is wide spread and could take years to get out of the system. Visit this link if you want to know more Bob.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Kath said...

Timperley Early is a gorgeous rhubarb isn't it? I used to live near Timperley.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

Pleasure to Chef for you

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Thank you for a most timely reminder - my next door neighbour has been hankering after a bit of my rhubarb for some time so must do the deed. Not only parsnip and apple soup but chocolate brownies as well. I wonder if I can negotiate similar terms.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

I'm an eligible bachelor all of a sudden , Matron's pimping me.



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