Lift and divide rhubarb

Lift and divide rhubarb

Lift and divide rhubarb while it’s still dormant to keep it producing those long, sweet stalks for many more years to come. It’s also a good time for planting new crowns, so pop down to our garden centre here in Chorley and take your pick from our great range of varieties from super-early cropping ‘Timperley’s Early’ to productive traditional favourite ‘Victoria’.

Rhubarb grows so enthusiastically given a rich soil in sun or part shade that older clumps can bulk up to over 1.5m across. Letting rhubarb grow to gargantuan size overcrowds the plant and exhausts the soil; look out for bolting and dying out in the middle – sure signs of stress.

Give your plant a new lease of life by lifting and dividing the whole thing up into smaller. Dig around it to loosen the roots, and ease it out of the ground. Then just chop it into pieces with a sharp spade, each with at least one big, fat bud and some roots.

Beef up the soil again with well-rotted manure, and then plant your new section so the bud stays proud of the soil. Harvest lightly for the first year, and you’ll find your rejuvenated rhubarb bounces back as generously as ever for years to come.