Tuesday, 11 October 2011

self sown parsnips

Parsnips have a reputation. Awkward. Stubborn. Cussed even, when it comes to germination.
We now use Ken's method of raising the seedlings in cardboard tubes and then planting these into the vegetable bed to grow on to mature plants for harvesting from early autumn.

But hang on, what's this?

We let our parsnips run on to flower magnificently in the summer and they produced a mass of seeds which we collected for sowing next spring.

But they also shed their gorgeous golden seed discs onto the soil and we now have an embarrassment of parsnip seedlings, scorning all the efforts we have made in the past to cosset and encourage. They have fought off the challenge of the recently sown overwintering grazing rye and are beginning to bully the borage.

So now, we have an experiment... We'll see whether these little seedlings get through a cold winter and whether they go onto produce tasty long, creamy conical roots.

If they do, we will have saved ourselves a lot of time and effort in future and will collect seed and then scatter it in the autumn.

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