Growing Rhubarb

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05 Jan 21 Josephine B (Australia - temperate climate)
I have tried to grow rhubarb over the years, but without success - don't know why it seems to die as I don't over-water it - I just keep testing soil with my fingers until soil is only lightly damp. So now, I have another 8 crowns bought last year (2020). When I bought them most of the crowns had lovely fat stalks, so I cooked them up - YUM, LOVELY. This year (now Jan 2021) they all have very thin spindly stalks, have read that I need to leave them for another year to grow being only young plants. I've also read that one should remove the dying off leaves which I have been doing. Is this the general practice as mine have many spindly leaves with still more still producing. I've also read that these new spindly stalks can be use or is it better to leave them to die off then remove them? LOVE my rhubarb and can hardly wait to cook more up rather than paying $6.00 for 5-6 stalks from the supermarket. Anxiously waiting for your reply. Thank you.
06 Jan 21 Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Spindly thin leaves probably means lack of nutrient in the soil. Did you improve the soil with compost, manures, fertilisers before you planted the crowns. They probably need some regular fertilising, every 2-3 mths when growing. To buy crowns with big fat stalks doesn't sound right to me. They should have been left until production had slowed down like going into winter. The plant goes dormant in winter, so you plant crows in late winter early spring into good rich well drained soil. Any other people here with experience with rhubarb, I have never grown it.
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