Rhubarb Glaskins Perpetual - 60 seeds
Started in heat in late winter Rhubarb 'Glaskins Perpetual' can be harvested lightly the following year. The large, juicy stems are excellent for tarts, pies, jam, and wine. As its name suggests, this reliable rhubarb can be harvested late in the season due to its low oxalic acid content. This easy to grow garden variety will produce some variation in the seedlings ranging from green to pink and even red stemmed plants. Height: 60cm (24"). Spread: 120cm (47").
Sow Rhubarb seeds individually from March to April at a depth of 1.6mm (¼) in a good quality seed compost. Place in a propagator at a temperature of 20-25C (70-75F), or seal the pots inside a polythene bags until after germination, which usually takes up to 21- 40 days. Keep the soil damp but not wet. Once the seedlings have emerged lower the temperature and later move them to a cold frame before planting out in late spring in a sunny position in well drained soil.
Prepare the soil in advance by digging in plenty of well rotted manure and clearing all weeds. Transplant rhubarb carefully, so as not to disturb the roots, allowing 1m (3ft) between each plant.
During the first year after planting, resist the temptation to harvest the stems, in order to allow the plant to become properly established. In spring, remove the emerging flower heads as they appear. From the second year, stems can be harvested from April to June, when the leaves have fully unfurled. Pull from the base of each stem and twist them away from the crown. Harvest only a few stems at a time leaving at least 4 leaves intact at all times. Water rhubarb plants in summer during dry periods to prevent the soil from drying out. When the leaves die back in autumn, remove the old stalks and apply a mulch of well rotted manure around the crown. Caution: The leaves of rhubarb plants are toxic if eaten.