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My other half makes sloe gin each year; he freezes the sloes overnight to make it easier to break the skins and, having learnt the trick from the person who won last year's sloe gin tasting competition (of 14 entries or so), freezing also gives a better flavour!

Will tell he who thinks he should be obeyed about the freezing. Havent gone to New Forest this year and all the local trees are always stripped bare.

I know we have to stop picking rhubarb mid July but when can we start picking again and do I need to protect the plant over winter? Thanks



The plant will die down over winter. It doesn't need protecting over winter. Rhubarb comes from Siberia. But mulching with well rotted manure is good. It will start to grow new stems in the spring. If you want to force it to produce an early crop you can place a forcing pot/ old chimney/ upturned bucket over the crown after Christmas. This will encourage earlier pinker and more tender stems. 

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