Sunday, 3 May 2015

Reasonable Force

Prompted by other posts about rhubarb this post shows the state of play on the plot today and a year ago. I'm an advocate of blanching (as opposed to forcing where the crowns are lifted and brought into dark heated sheds.)
Lifting the lid on the dalek today for a second picking of blanched stems:

Here's how they compare to their non-blanched neighbours

And here's how this result is achieved:

And just to prove that the plants recover here is a picture from last year when the dalek was over the clump at the end:

You can see above that this clump is just as vigorous this year. Next year the bin will be going over the clump at the other end and once again we will have a crop of blanched rhubarb a good couple of weeks in advance of the rest of the crop!


  1. Sorry but I am still sticking with au natural. Isn't it still a form of forcing as the plants are forced into unnatural growth in an attempt to seek our light?

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  3. I first learned this technique from Mal more than three years ago. It makes the rhubarb so much more tasty and tender. i don't consider it any more unnatural than hilling up potatoes for more tubers or burying leek seedlings and backfilling them to get longer leeks.

    i don't think its really forcing as that is usually something done mainly to get earlier growth, blanching is shielding the plants from light, preventing the plant from toughening up in order to protect itself from strong sunlight.

    gardening is an adventurous pursuit. i encourage anyone to try it at least once. if you don't like the difference it makes, simply reverse. the plant will recover. rhubarb is insanely hardy. :)