Yesterday I ate a sharp, fresh Rhubarb crumble made from Rhubarb picked on my own patch and it was brilliant.
Special Tips for growing rhubarb .
Grow it in the West Riding of Yorkshire the heart of the Rhubarb triangle.
Do not pick all the stems from one crown, let some grow on and put energy back in for next year.
Do not pick late in the season for the same reason.
Water copiously in dry summers a couple of days before you pick the crop. Water even when it is raining.
Break off flowering stems as soon as you see them.
Pick and go so you eat fresh Rhubarb.
I do very little to my rhubarb crowns and leave them to their own devices in a corner of the veg patch.
They produce lots of stems and deserve a good autumn feed of well rotted compost
Every 5 years or so I have dug up the crown/roots and split the plant into several new ones. This re-energises the following crop when I replant with plenty of compost.
This backend I had a surfeit of horse manure so some crowns got a good mulching whilst other were left untouched.
I do not force the Rhubarb to produce thin pink sticks4-6 weeks early so I missed out on that treat.
Newly Available Varieties
Fultons Strawberry Surprise ‘Voted the best flavoured Rhubarb in the RHS Wisley trials. Strong vigorous plants, produce flushes of vivid red stems making delicious pies or crumbles.
Thompson & Morgan have teamed up with the RHS to offer the first AGM cultivars from its 112 plant National Collection of Rhubarbs. This has historically been held at RHS Harlow Carr in Yorkshire, the centre of the rhubarb growing industry.
These cultivars have been increased in number by using a specialist micropropagation laboratory to eliminate virus and provide healthy plantlets, which are potted on to form a small crown ready for planting. Although these plants are young they will quickly mature, resulting in crowns big enough to harvest from 2 years after planting.’
Buy these and other varieties from Thompson & Morgan
500g garden rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 3cm pieces
80g caster sugar
200g plain flour and oats mixed
100g cold butter, cubed
125g demerara sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
2. Put the rhubarb in a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the water and caster sugar.
3. Sift the flour and oats into a bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, pulse in a food processor. Stir in the demerara sugar.
4. Spread the crumble mixture over the rhubarb – don’t pat it down too much. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the rhubarb bubbling through at the edges. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.