I've got a big, lovely rhubarb plant in my yard which I'd hoped to be able to harvest a few different times over the course of a summer. How should I harvest my rhubarb to encourage it to regrow quickly? Should I cut it off near the base, pull it up from the root, or something else? Should I harvest it all at once, or should I leave some of the stalks in place?
I watched a video on this precise question because my neighbour invited me to take rhubarb from her plant, and I wanted to make sure I did it in a way that wouldn't affect her plant.
The video was made by Tom Cole at Capel Manor College in London. It has been deleted, but these are the points I took from it:
Don't cut the stalk with a knife. Pull it right out with a sharp tug. This apparently promotes new growth and "invigorates the roots" so it helps the plant. (Also the bit right at the bottom is the most delicious part to eat!)
Don't take more than 3 or 4 stems per season per plant. I actually took up to 5, because there were so many, but I think the idea is to make sure to leave the plant with at least 3-4 stalks leftover for the new season.