Actually, we know that in the plant production industry we – at first glance – produce plants, but we actually sell experiences. Only a few people actually buy plants for their own sake, but rather to experience something with them: more peace, privacy, harvest possibilities, beauty, idyll and much more.
Of course, this also applies to rhubarb plants. The decisive experience here is the almost unbelievable moment, when out of nowhere, out of the hidden rhizome, the large buds suddenly break open and the leaves and stalks unfold. Then we know this: it's spring! And we know even more that we will soon be able to enjoy the first rhubarb cake.
Producing and selling rhubarb plants based on this experience
It has long astonished me that hardly any rhubarb plants are produced and offered exactly because of this experience. In doing so, we already know the principle of the immediate purchase reward when it comes to harvesting the many snack vegetables, which are offered more and more as fruit-bearing plants. Wouldn‘t that also be possible with rhubarb plants?
Rhubarb plants as an experience purchase
Picture: a rhubarb container plant starts growing
In fact, this production of rhubarb foliage, which is geared towards quick harvesting and early consumption, is particularly easy and problem-free. We do not first have to grow a rhubarb plant for a long time, which eventually blooms and bears fruit, but actually a well-rooted and thickly developed rhizome root is enough, which is easily forced before being sold in garden centres or even better at food retailers or automatically starts to wake up itself when being transported to the point of sale…
Producing rhubarb plants for an experience purchase
Picture: a growing rhubarb plant in a 5 liter container
Producing rhubarb plants for an experience purchase must meet some conditions, which we note in the following:
- Production in a large, 3 - 5 L pots
- Early potting of overwintered rhubarb young plants from micropropagation in 60-cell trays – only at an early pot date do the young rhubarb plants grow enough storage volume and rhizome roots
- Cooled storage to power the rhubarb plants just before the delivery date – just-in-time production
- A small application of fertiliser before delivery
- Use of very early varieties (e.g. Timperley Early) or everbearing rhubarb that react very quickly to heat and develop rapidly and vigorously. These varieties also withstand such a fast harvest.
Does the instant rhubarb plant continue to live after the harvest?
Picture: rhubarb also looks good as a pot plant
The use of very strong, early or everbearing varieties such as Livingstone guarantees that the rhubarb plant easily survives the harvest of the first thrust of stalks and it continues to produce more stalks. At least two, large leaves should be left after the second harvest and the plant should be repotted or planted afterwards, so that a proper harvest can be carried out the following year.
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