Anyone who knows us, or even reads this blog, knows that we love rhubarb, we have grown it from seed, made schnapps from it that oddly tastes of peaches, turned it into cordial and even varied the cordial with strawberries. We have learnt for force it, sounds more painful than it is, and produced vast amounts of it that have dwarfed Little D in stature and has been sold all across these hills. Let's face facts, rhubarb has made us some money which we plough right back into the garden. There are some people on our Facebook page who hate the stuff, too many bad puddings and midnight attacks by masked rhubarb ninjas have put them off the stuff.
On maps of the fifteenth century, rhubarb was so important that on globes with Mongolia on, it merely said: 'Here grows much rhubarb'. Rhubarb was king and to us a vital part of the garden. You have a problem spot, rhubarb will probably solve it and if you don't like eating it then consider it to be an ornamental. However, it will get bigger and bigger each year, faster than a hosta.
But our poor rhubarb is under stress from the poor winter, it's starting to see and if you see the above flower rising up from your crowns this spring you can save them. Simply cut the thing off with a sharp knife, don't hesitate, don't wait to see what it will look like, hack it off like Howard Keele attacking a triffid. If your rhubarb flowers than your rhubarb days will be over, though you can always learn to sow some from seed. Your rhubarb needs plenty of manure to get it through so get some well rotted stuff and get it in between those crowns now, but don't let it touch them, and those crowns will perk up.