Planting Rhubarb on the Wonderpost allotment
Planting Rhubarb on the Wonderpost allotment

Can it get any easier?

When I first discovered horticulture at the tender age of 17 I was interested in getting some ‘easy wins’ in the garden. Well, it doesn’t come much easier than Rhubarb. This fantastic plant is so easy to grow and yields edible red stalks – and by the way, the redder the stalks, the sweeter the flavour.

As a keen amateur cook I often use Rhubarb in my recipes and have recently taken to making some Rhubarb vodka too. So it seemed only right that we should plant some Rhubarb crowns in the Wonderpost allotment. I choose the variety ‘Red Champagne’ which is a sweet tasting early fruiting variety. This variety is readily available in most garden centres and is typically sold as an unpotted ‘crown’. If you miss the chance to buy the crowns this autumn then don’t worry because most garden centres sell potted varieties of Rhubarb in the Spring.

Rhubarb likes to be planted in an open, sunny position and needs soil that is well drained. Just as well, really, as our Wonderpost allotment is in one of Roger’s fields that gets a huge amount of sunshine. The soil is also pretty free draining. Of course, adding our fantastic Wonderpost soil improver will also enhance the condition of the soil – I added a good shovel full into the planting hole and mixed it well into the soil.

Ideally we do not want to harvest the stalks next Spring as we need to allow the newly planted crowns to establish a root system but in March 2020 what, I’m going to put an upturned bucket over the crowns – this will encourage the stalks to grow as they are searching for light and will produce some delicious fresh stalks. I’ve then got two choices – either make more vodka or some Rhubarb and ginger jam.