How to force rhubarb

Forcing rhubarb is one of the first jobs to do in the veg patch at the beginning of the year. As soon as you see that first sign of life from rhubarb crowns that had been dormant for the winter it’s time to pop a forcer over them. It’s important to remember that you should only do this with established rhubarb that has been growing in situ for over a year, and not rhubarb that has been newly planted.

You can buy a specific rhubarb forcer from a garden centre, or you can just as easily use a large bucket or plant pot. The idea is to prevent light from reaching the rhubarb, thus making them grow a little earlier and produce more tender stems. All you need to do is simply pop the forcer over the top of a crown once it starts to shoot, ensuring that no light can get through at the bottom. After about eight weeks you should have some lovely stems of rhubarb to harvest!