How to force your rhubarb for an earlier, sweeter crop

Crate of packed rhubarb stems ready for transport.

GAP Photos/Clive Nichols

I HAVE just finished one of the few winter jobs at my allotment: preparing my rhubarb patch, including setting up one of the plants to be forced. This means covering it with a large container to make the stalks grow more quickly in search of light.

If you have the space, I highly recommend getting a few rhubarb plants as they are so easy to grow. I give mine little attention, but each spring they produce a huge crop when there isn’t much home-grown produce around. Technically, rhubarb stems are a vegetable as they are the plant’s leaf stalks, but …

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