rhubarb Strawberry crowns
This is a crop that should do well for gardeners in cold areas as it thrives and flavours best in cooler conditions
- Position: full sun
- Soil: any, except waterlogged soils
- Rate of growth: average
- Other features: the leaves may cause severe discomfort if ingested; the scarlet leaf stalks are excellent for making pies, jams and wine
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Long, dark and deliciously sweet, the flesh of this rhubarb is uniformly red throughout. If you want nice, thick stems, then do not force, but you will be able to havest them (after their first year) from April onwards. It is ideal for well-drained areas of the vegetable garden, and once planted it should not be moved. The plant would benefit from a generous annual mulch of well-rotted compost or manure.
- Garden care: Dig the area in autumn, incorporating a good amount of compost or well-rotted manure. Rake in a general fertiliser, such as Growmore in to the area just before planting. Keep plants well watered and remove any flowering shoots that appear. Mulch the crowns in January or February. It is best to allow new plants to become established during the first year before harvesting your first crop, so wait for 12 - 18 months before you start pulling the sticks.
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Q:My rhubarb looks spindly and weak - what do you think is wrong?
My rhubarb looks very poorly - practically no crop at all this year. What have I done wrong?Asked on 10/15/2006 by Marjory McIntyre
A:Rhubarb is usually a very tough plant and generally doesn't succumb to many pests. It does however suffer from crown rot, which causes the terminal bud to rot and the tissue below the crown to decay. This means that any stems that do appear are spindly and dull coloured. Unfortunately there is no cure for it and badly infected plants should be dug up and burnt. You should also not re-plant another rhubarb in the affected area.Answered on 10/16/2006 by Crocus
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