Forcing rhubarb

Both January’s that we have lived here, I neglected to force some rhubarb. Not this year! I have emptied the parsnips out of the black bin that I forgot about. They were tiny and the pony was very grateful for them!

The black bin has gone over the top of the rhubarb plant that gets the most sun. So in approximately 8 weeks we should have our first rhubarb of the season, maybe early March. I am really looking forward to it.

You’re not supposed to force the same rhubarb plant each year, so I am using this blog to remind me which plants I forced and when.

We love rhubarb, we eat it freshly cooked, roasted or in crumble and also preserve it either in jam, alcohol or dehydration etc. So many options which I am getting excited about just writing this post.  I’m going to plan ahead and get the recipes ready for when we harvest.  A definite keeper is the Rhubarb wine, that was so nice in a tall glass with lemonade.  Rocket fuel on its own though!
Given how much rhubarb we could potentially use has got me thinking, I could buy more plants, but that doesn’t fit in with keeping costs down. Then I remembered you can split the crowns in January, so I am going to try that at the weekend. I am really pleased that I remembered to do this and I’ve made a note for January jobs for 2019 (already I know!).

12 thoughts on “Forcing rhubarb

  1. Hi Tracy,Glad you have picked up on this one. Even though I do not grow my own there are certain things I buy in and do things with and Forced Rhubarb is one of them. Expensive but very tasty. You know what I am going to say – you can preserve it in syrup. The forced rhubarb is the sweetest of the year. I have made the Forced Rhubarb in syrup – just bottling it in a sugar syrup and hot water bath processing it (you do not need a canner for this) and has come out very nice. The only thing I would add to the recipe link I have popped on my blog is that I would wrap the jar in brown paper after processing to keep the light out of the jar (this is a traditional Victorian Practice which not many people know of or do). Also store it somewhere dark. This helps to preserve the delicate pink colour of the forced rhubarb, which can leach during the processing but it does not affect the taste.Also after bottling the Rhubarb and then using it if there is any syrup left over use it in milk shakes or in adult cocktails. This is the page on my blog that has the link. It also has some other links to other ideas as well including Rhubarb Chutney, Rhubarb Champagne. this helps.Tricia xx


  2. I've been wanting to force some rhubarb for years now but you're not supposed to force newer plants, or plants that have been recently moved and mine have always fallen into one or other of these categories. And guess what we are about to relocate the rhubarb yet again!!Maybe next year 😊


  3. TracyFor fruit bushes and rhubarb Plants Wilkinsons or the Pound Shop or Poundland frequently have them in at £1 a time. I have bought them in the past and although not looking promising they have come on pretty well afterwards. That might help with keeping the seed and plant budget down a bit too xx


  4. I've replied to this 3 times now, having to do it on the laptop rather than my phone which I like to do as it means I can do it anywhere. Anyway, I was saying I LOVE the idea of what Victorians used to do as I often look at what they did in the veg garden. Very interesting. Thank you for the tips and I will definitely be looking at your blog for recipes as always. Looking forward to preserving it too! Tank you xx


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