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Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

I have been down to church this week to do some tidying up. Last week when I was there the “traditional” Rhubarb plant had  a number of stalks and leaves on it. This week I had difficulty spotting it. The bases of all the stalks are there with ragged edges. This can be a source of infection by fungi and can lead to crown rot. Pulling all the stalks at one go will reduce the vitality of the plant and may eventually lead to the death of the plant.

If you want to pick the Rhubarb leave at least one healthy stalk and leaf, preferably two. Pull the oldest leaves first. The correct way to pull Rhubarb is to hold the stalk as near to the bottom as possible, the pull away from the crown waggling the stalk from side to side. Trim the leaf off and place it in a compost bin.


There is no need to decimate the “traditional” Rhubarb if there is not enough for your needs as there is a “modern” variety less than a metre away. The stalks are not as tough on this variety and tend to snap very easily.


If you are picking Rhubarb and find some yellow or brown leaves, please pull them out and place them in one of the compost bins. This will reduce the chance of fungal growth and crown rot.


Andrew Watchorn

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Page last updated: 27th August 2021 12:46 PM