Tag Archives: parsnips

Sowing and planting this week

This week saw a mixture of sowing and planting out. First, we prepared our second outdoor potato bed and planted a favourite late main crop Pink Fir Apple, along with more of second early Wilja and a few left over early Sharpe’s Express. The Wilja and Pink Fir Apple will go into the store once harvested, whilst this third sowing of Sharpe’s Express should keep us in new potatoes for some time. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we had limited time for sowing as we finally started planting up the orchard. We did, though, tend to three timely tasks: the parsnip bed, Jerusalem artichokes, and a second potato bed. Parsnips benefit from a long growing season and sowing as early as February is sometimes recommended. However, such early sowings, when the soil is cold and wet, are not conducive to good germination, and parsnip seed is already notoriously stubborn to germinate. I prefer to wait until conditions are better and the start of April is a good time. As weather conditions improved a few weeks back, we could have sown then, but this week was our first opportunity. Parsnips, along with other root crops, such as carrots, follow on from brassicas in our crop rotation. The brassicas are one of the most greedy feeders, whilst root crops tend to fork if grown in too rich a soil. Therefore, no manure, compost, or other fertiliser was added. The bed was simply weeded and raked over until level and of good texture. Continue reading

Seed list 2014 – part 1 – root crops

I am sure I am not alone in feeling like a kid in sweet shop when it comes to browsing seed catalogues and preparing sowing plans for the coming year. Long before we even broke ground here I drew up a ‘shortlist’ of seeds that I thought would make a good starting point. This shortlist was, admittedly, not at all short and I have spent the last few years trying to refine it based on our experiences, trying new sorts and removing others depending on how they perform for us. Despite my best efforts, there are still a great many varieties on my list. I must also confess that I have completely ignored my scientific training and made these choices on rather whimsical grounds, and perhaps I ought to conduct more rigorous trials before making such decisions. Perhaps one day, but in the mean time, preparing this year’s seed list was long overdue. Continue reading