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As mentioned in a previous post; I'm a total newbie when it comes to growing fruit & veg. I have one well established, healthy rhubarb plant which produces really nice fruit I'd like to split the crown so I can get some new plants established (you can never have enough rhubarb!) when is it best to do this & more to the point HOW do I do it?  Can the new crowns be planted into their final position immediately or is it best to start them off in a pot first? 

Welshonion

I don't consider now is the right time to split the crown, while it is still producing stems.  Wait until the plant has died down naturally in the Autumn then you can dig it up and split it with a saw, chopper or whatever is appropriate.

If you sever the roots now to divide it you may lose it all.

As above post. If the current plant is healthy and producing a good crop, why bother? Why not try introducing some different varieties for the future? I would get an earlier or later variety depending on what you already have. I found my rhubarb varieties at the local market being offered for sale in early Spring. Job done!

Wait till autumn when the stalks and leaves have died down then dig it up - you'll need to dig deep to get it intact - and split it with a saw or a bread knife depending on the size.

Replant at the same depth as before in holes which you have prepared with plenty of well rotted manure and garden compost to help with moisture retention and feeding.  Give them plenty of psace so they can grow big and strong.   Water in well and then cover with a good pile of more well rotted manure to keep the crowns protected over winter.   You should be careful not to pick too many stems in the first year after transplanting as new plants will need energy from the leaves to build up a good root system.  They should certainly not be forced in the first year after planting.

Dovefromabove

One big crown or two smaller ones - production will be about the same, two will take up more space, and you mustn't crop them in the first year after transplanting  so .... I agree with Oldcompostheap, get another variety that produces a bit earlier or later to extend the season. 

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Would it be better to buya potted plant froma GC in August/September

This is my first year and it has produced inch thick stalks. Do I disregard these and then pick the next lot of stalks when large enough.

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