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Rhubarb Forcing Pots

By: Marisa Reyes
Find out how to force rhubarb in your garden with rhubarb-forcing pots here!

Rhubarb forcing pot: Get an even earlier rhubarb harvest with a forcing pot.

Did you know you can force rhubarb?

Rhubarb is one of the earliest plants to pop up in the garden when spring arrives. It's easy to grow and you don't have to plant it year after year. This means you’ll have plenty of this tasty fruit every spring and summer for pies, jams, sauces and syrups.

Rhubarb is typically ready for harvest in late spring or when stalks are 12 to 18 inches tall. Stop harvesting in early summer when the plant is no longer sending up new stalks. But did you know you can get an even earlier harvest by using a forcing rhubarb jar or a pot? This is a great way to extend the harvest season so you can enjoy those delicious spears for even longer!

Does forced rhubarb taste different?

Forcing rhubarb refers to growing rhubarb in darkness. This method creates a warm environment and causes plants to break dormancy while accelerating the plant's growth as the stalks search for light. This process produces stalks that are more tender, less stringy and sweeter than they would be if grown in full sun. Follow the steps below to force your own rhubarb.

Where to find a rhubarb forcing pot

Rhubarb Forcer from Haddenstone
Rhubarb Forcing Pots on Etsy
Best Rhubarb Forcers

How to force rhubarb

Select Mature Rhubarb Plants

Forcing is best done with rhubarb plants that are at least two years old. Mature plants are able to handle the stress of forced growth, but this method should only be used one time on a single plant. (Don't do it every year.)

When to Force Rhubarb Plants

Begin forcing rhubarb in late winter when plants are still dormant.

Cover the Plant

Use a forcing jar or a large nursery pot to cover the rhubarb so no light can reach the plant.

When to Harvest Forced Rhubarb Stalks

In about 4 to 6 weeks, the rhubarb stalks will be ready to harvest. They'll be pale pink and yellow and have a more delicate flavor and less acidity than unforced rhubarb. Remove the rhubarb forcing pot after 7 or 8 weeks. After removing the forcing pot, allow the plant to grow normally in the sunlight to help it recover and store energy for the next season.

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Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.


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edible plants fruit home grown issue 176 march april 2024 special techniques web extra

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