Posted: 27/03/2017 at 19:58
I took over an allotment 3-4 years ago that had a timperley early rhubarb plant on the plot. I noticed last year that perhaps it was a little less fruitful than previous years, so I split the crown into two this winter, and put half back in the same place with some manure, and planted the other half in a different, sunny spot, again with plenty of well rotted manure.
Once both had burst into life earlier this month, I put a compost bin on top of the new bit, as I've never forced before and was just curious, and I left the other old half to do its thing naturally.
I left the bin on only for about two weeks and removed it on the weekend. I picked two fantastic, thick, long stalks of rhubarb, and although there are plenty more stalks, the rest are a lot thinner. The plant that I have left grow naturally also has thin stalks, although not as long of course, with a lot more leaf.
I read somewhere that they are low on nutrition when the stalks go thin, I was hoping that splitting the crown and adding manure would help with this. Am I just a bit impatient, could the stalks develop thicker in due course?!
I did remember afterwards that I also read somewhere that a new plant shouldn't be forced in its first year, but wasn't sure if it counted as a new plant as it was split from an older crown.
Your thoughts please!! :-)