Tuesday, 27 January 2009

perfect parsnips

A story needs a happy ending.
And my search for perfect parsnips has reached that point.

You may remember that I was struggling to get my favourite vegetable to germinate. Parsnips take an age to germinate and this leaves them vulnerable to fluctuations in soil temperature and soil water content.

Having decided to give up, my neighbouring allotment holder Ken, showed me how he germinated his parsnips in cylinders of paper. When the baby plants were strong, he planted them out into the soil by simply dibbering a hole and dropping the paper cylinder and its contents into the dibber hole. The baby plants need no thinning and can then grow on undisturbed until harvest.

This year - hey presto! - a bed full of parsnips and we're still lifting them in January!

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