Approximately 60 seeds per gram. Rheum rhabarbarum
Victoria Rhubarb is a very popular ‘forcing’ type of rhubarb that first appeared in England in 1837. It is considered to be the oldest existing rhubarb variety available today. It was introduced by Joseph Myatt to honor the ‘Queen of England’. It is one of the easiest rhubarbs to raise from seed. It produces moderately sweet, juicy, medium sized green stalk and makes the absolute best cooking type of rhubarb. Victoria is very large with slender, tall and tender, crimson red stalks. Excellent for cobblers, pies and wine. Rhubarb loves rich well composted soil in a partially shaded area. They are not too fussy about a burning afternoon sun. Remember, this plant will live for many years so plant it where you know you are going to keep it. It also needs plenty of room in the garden as the plant will have a spread of 61-122cm (24-48”) across and achieve a height of 61-92cm (24-36").
The seeds are encased in a rather large paper-like shell. Soak the seeds in water for a few hours before planting. Plant the seeds in a peaty mixture or into peat pots to making transplanting them easier and then put them in a sunny window. Rhubarb seeds germinate quickly. Start indoors in sterile potting mix. Plant seeds 1/2cm (1/4”) below the surface. Seeds take 2-3 weeks to germinate. When plants are 3-4" tall begin to harden off for transplanting to the garden.
Soil Conditions: Well worked, rich, loose and well-drained soil. Ideal pH: 5.5-6.8
Planting Depth: Sow seeds 6mm (¼) deep.
Germination: 2-3 weeks.
Height at Maturity: Plants reach 61-92cm (24-36") tall. Spread- plan for a significant spread of 61-122cm (24-48”) wide after a couple of years. This is a long term plant variety.
Days to Maturity: During the first year of planting, the stalks should not be picked. Leaves are required to provide nourishment for the roots for the next year's growth. A light picking may be taken during the year following planting, following that: the entire plant may be harvested. When harvesting rhubarb, cut the stalks at the soil line or simply pull them out individually. Stalks of a plant may be harvested at one time, or pulled out selectively over a 6 week period. Flowering will reduce the vigour of the plant. The flower and seed stalks should be cut out as soon as they start forming. The plant may still continue to produce the flower stalks so keep cutting.
Watering: Good drainage is essential in growing rhubarb, planting in raised beds helps ensure against rotting of the crowns. Be careful to not over water it as rhubarb can get root rot if the ground is too wet.
Sun/Shade: Partial Sun – Partial Shade
Spacing after Thinning Space transplants 1m (36”) apart.
Additional Information Rhubarb requires cold to trigger spring growth. Rhubarb tolerates the cold reasonably well. It is hardy to around minus 29°C (-20°F). You can cover rhubarb roots with compost, straw or mulch to prevent the roots from drying out in the winter. Established root clumps will have to be trimmed every 4 to 5 years or when the stalks get small and spindly or when the crown is visibly crowded. This will help the plant to keep growing nice thick stems. This is done by digging around and trimming the crown down to 4 or 5 buds. You can also use this opportunity to divide your plant into more plants.