Keeping the crowns in the dark encourages the plant to send out tender young stems, which are forced upwards looking for light.
Rhubarb plants should be a couple of years old before forcing, as this process takes a lot of energy and plants are best left to establish a good root system first.
Once forced, plants should be allowed to grow naturally the next season to recover their vigour. Growing three crowns allows you to force one each year in rotation thus giving you the best of both worlds and gives the forced crowns a recovery period.
Rhubarb Champagne is considered the ultimate variety for forcing, with it’s slender pink stems and sweetness it is a delectable variety loved by many fancy chefs!