Rhubarb Rhubarb

We had my parents to stay last night and I was just wondering what we might do for pudding when I came across this in the flowerbed at the back and remembered it was rhubarb season…


When it comes to growing your own, rhubarb – at least our rhubarb – feels a bit like cheating. It was already in the garden when we arrived and it just seems to magically come up every year without me doing anything. According to the RHS, the main thing when growing rhubarb is to make sure it gets plenty of water in the summer which, frankly, is not a problem around here. Apart from that, all you have to do is go out whenever you want some rhubarb and pull as many stems as you need. It’s not so much being a rhubarb grower, as being some sort of specialised rhubarb pest.

rhubarbThe only problem is that I’ve gone from not really liking rhubarb on the grounds that it sounded a bit school-dinnerish to discovering it’s rather yummy. The other half makes rhubarb pickle which he’s quite keen on, and last night we had rhubarb and ginger crumble which was delicious and now we’ve realised we are going to need more of it. Possibly my policy of benign neglect may have to be revised – I have even been letting it flower because it’s in the flowerbed and it’s quite spectacular when it does, but a quick google suggests I’m dicing with disaster there and that any real gardeners out there will have just had a sharp intake of breath on reading that. Clearly I’m going to have to do this properly: digging it up, splitting the crown, manuring, mulching well, and then discovering next spring that I’ve got no rhubarb at all …


9 Responses to Rhubarb Rhubarb

  1. PJ says:

    I love rhubarb too. I’ve never let rhubarb flower but I might live dangerously this year and see what happens!! The Rhubarb pickle sounds good……

  2. rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb pie. Gotta love perrenials

  3. Charles says:

    It is quite strange how some things just grow when you ignore them while others die despite all the love and attention showered on them. Possibly there is an cunning plan here, find a group of gardeners who can grow things by mistake and then team them up, perfect no stress veg production….

  4. disgruntled says:

    I hope nobody’s taking any rhubarb cultivation advice from me! I’m sure I’ll end up killing it now…

  5. Bob says:

    Somehow I thought there was going to be a Goon Show reference.

  6. Andy in Germany says:

    I remember a conference centre I worked in that made much of the fact we grew out own rhubarb. What we didn’t tell guests was that the massive, semi feral Rhubarb patch was right next to the sheep dip, which was used every week…

  7. Ours is also away to flower. I take it I should not be toying with the idea of leaving it be – rhubarb flowers are really quite interesting, but rather attacking it with a pruning knife forthwith?

    (This will necessitate the purchase of a pruning knife, or may be even a genuine rhubarb hook)

  8. I fear I have made a hash of punctuating that comment. In my defence, I have eaten rather a lot of haribo this afternoon, in between applying paint stripper to the stairs…

  9. disgruntled says:

    I think you just hack it off if you’re a real gardener. Or let it flower, if you’re me

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