Plant rhubarb now for bumper crops next spring. Late spring is a great time to plant permanent crops, as it's warm but there's plenty of rain about – ideal growing conditions. Big, hungry plants like rhubarb need time to get their roots down into the ground to fuel those stout stalks and huge leaves, so planting crowns before the heat of summer gives them a quick start and a whole season to get going before you start picking – giving you hefty harvests from next season onwards.
You’ll find a wide choice of varieties in our garden centre here in Poynings, from old favourite 'Victoria' to early-cropping ‘Timperley Early’ and superbly flavoured 'Fulton's Strawberry Surprise'. Ideally, plant more than one crown so you have one to force in late winter as a mouthwatering early spring treat.
Rhubarb will grow in part shade but it's more productive in a sunny spot. Good drainage is important, as crowns are prone to rotting in waterlogged conditions. These are incredibly productive plants which will be in the ground for a long time, so fork in plenty of well-rotted manure before planting your crown with the bud at surface level. Water well, then leave to establish before picking those succulent red stems next spring.