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Gary350
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Rhubarb Forcing.

I have been reading about Rhubarb forcing sense last summer, I am forcing my rhubarb plants this year. I found a place online that sells, Terra Cotta Rhubarb Forcing bells $15 each. I decided to use 3 trash cans before I pay money for forcing bells. Once I learn what my rhubarb flavor is really like I might buy forcing bells. My 3 trash cans need to be staked down so they don't blow away.

Photosynthesis from sunlight causes Rhubarb to turn Green color this produces oxalic acid. Oxalic acid can be neutralized with calcium carbonate but then you have chalk flavor. Growing Rhubarb in the dark produces very little oxalic acid stalks grow RED color with a sweet flavor.

British are well known for forcing good Rhubarb I tend to believe what I read online from the British rather than USA. Some places claim forced rhubarb taste like strawberries but British claim forced rhubarb is a bit tart like pie cherries with a flavor more like red raspberries.

When I was in grade school grandmother had a large patch of Rhubarb, leaves were so large they shaded rhubarb in the center of the patch. She only pulled the blood red stalks from the center of the patch to make, pies, cake, muffins, cobbler, jelly. I remember how good it was. My Rhubarb last year was green and too sour to eat.

Online says, let rhubarb grow 3 years to produce strong roots before harvesting rhubarb. Some people say cut the stalks with a sharp knife but British say, pull stalks they come off easy. I tried pulling stalks last year they make a snapping sound and come off easy. Harvest all the large stalks all summer until about Aug 1st then let the plants grow leaves in full sun to make strong roots for next year.

This summer I plan to make rhubarb cobbler & cake maybe jelly & pancake syrup too. All the other stalks I pull until August will be wine.
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JONA
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Rhubarb Forcing.

Hi Gary
Yes there is an area of some nine square miles In West Yorkshire that is known as the Rhubard triangle.
Here most of the rhubarb is grown in forcing houses of blacked out sheds. All work done in the sheds is by candlelight to keep the stems from any open light.
They reckon you can actually hear the plants growing in the dark by a constant clicking noise.
John

Vanisle_BC
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Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Rhubarb Forcing.

Isn't it true that once the rhubarb plant has been forced, the root is effectively dead, so you'd need new plants every year?

Gary, do you put some ginger in your rhubarb wine? I do and we like it a lot.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

JONA
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Rhubarb Forcing.

Forcing weakens the plants so they are usually left fora year to recover, it doesn’t kill them though.
In the sheds they are lifted and planted outside to recover.
John

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.
Contact: Website

Re: Rhubarb Forcing.

I only have 6 plants if they are all still alive. I saw 3 plants trying to grow the other day. It is so warm plants are growing too soon. I have never made rhubarb wine only recipe I have says nothing about ginger. If forced rhubarb tastes like cherries or raspberries I will make wine with all rhubarb. I hope to get a few rhubarb cobblers too and some rhubarb pancake syrup. I need a package of chalk to neutralize the acid.

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