parsnip

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chickpeacurry

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parsnip
« on: March 26, 2014, 09:29 »
Had loads of problems trying to get parsnips to germinate last year. I did them in the ground and they awful shapes and got carrot fly.  This year am going to do them in large black boxes.   I was thinking about starting them first so I know they have germinated and then I can space them properly.  What would be the best way to do this.  I wondered is it to hot in the house or unheated greenhouse using toilet rolls to help transplant them.  Any Advice thanks

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JayG

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 11:05 »
Parsnip seed is very slow to germinate in the sort of soil temperatures they are often sown outdoors in, and using year-old seed doesn't help, although you should still get some germination.

If your soil is stony you have to expect some forking of the roots unless you go for growing them in specially prepared holes filled with compost and sieved soil.

Transplanting can be done, but they really don't like it and it is likely to also lead to forking - some members have reported successfully starting them in toilet roll tubes and planting the whole thing out, but you have to make sure the roots haven't already reached the bottom of the tubes before you do so.

As for carrot fly attack, and the canker which usually follows, the only way to be sure they are protected is to net them with enviromesh or similar, although where I am the damage is far less than that inflicted on carrots.

To some extent it depends how much trouble you are prepared to go to - as I posted in a recent picture I don't aim to grow exhibition quality snips and have become quite creative and talented with my veg peeler!

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=113361.msg1296949#msg1296949
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 11:08 by JayG »
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

One of the best things about being an orang-utan is the fact that you don't lose your good looks as you get older

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Gardener and Rabbit

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 11:23 »
Hi Chickpeacurry,

I'm starting my parsnip seed now, indoors, between layers of damp kitchen-towel on a warm windowsill.

As the seeds sprout, I plant them into a cardboard tube filled with a general purpose compost, still on the windowsill. 

Then as soon as they start to come up through the compost, I move them outdoors to a warm sheltered spot.

 I grow 18 plants like this, for 3 rows of 6 plants each. As soon as the root shows at the bottom of the tube I plant them out, giving me perfectly spaced plants and without needing to do any thinning that might attract fly.

As I plant them I remove any stones that are directly below, using a trowel.  I don't use any garden compost, as they don't like fresh compost. And I  plant a lettuce  in-between the parsnips, as a quick crop before the parsnips fill-out.

Hope this helps, it's worked well for me for the last few years.

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chickpeacurry

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 16:36 »
Thanks If you don't use fresh compost what would you use to plant them in

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DD.

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 16:40 »
We appear to be confusing "compost" with "manure".

There is nothing wrong with fresh compost as long as it's lump free - this is the problem with fresh manure, it contains lumps that cause the tap root to fork.
Did it really tell you to do THAT on the packet?

Seeds are SOWN, planting's for plants (and bulbs & tubers)!

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Ivor Backache

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 17:17 »
I too chit them between damp paper. You will have to keep the paper moist every morning, for about 3 weeks.
You will see the small white root appear and transplant them into cardboard rolls. Minimum height of the toilet roll. Even then you may see the root appearing at one end and only small seeds leaves at the other end.
I fill the tubes with sieved soil and some compost, and keep it moist with water and a little liquid feed. it's quite a long process- I have been doing this since mid February, and now I have 24 tubes of which about 6 are in leaf. germination rates are abysmal. A packet has enough seed for 4/5 years but you will never get them to germinate much after 1 year. They can be hard work but the results are worth it.

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DD.

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 17:38 »
Wait until mid-April.

Direct in the ground, pinch of seed every 8/9".

Go away and leave them for a few weeks.

Come back & thin to strongest.

Grow with your carrots with their fly protection.

DD. - a founder member of the NFGG. (No Faff Gardening Group).

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Jackypam

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 21:45 »
I think I'll join your group DD :D

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Salmo

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 22:00 »
I agree with DD. Parsnip seed will not keep to next year so be generous with the pinch, 6/7 seeds per station.

I sow radishes thinly between stations. These come up quickly and show me where the parsnip rows are. That allows me to hoe between the rows even before the parsnips emerge. They are also a bonus crop and often the best radishes of the year.

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Ashurstman

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 23:36 »
As last years newbie I took advice and chitted them at home on sheets of damp kitchen roll in in a dark plastic box. And then tried some directly in the ground.

Chitting won hands down!

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Gardener and Rabbit

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 10:13 »
Is there a pattern here?  Posters who are in the North mostly seem to favour chitting, and members in the Midlands and South seem to favour direct sowing...probably linked to soil temperatures.

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georget

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 11:34 »
I make a mix of molehills river sand and leaf mould at a ratio of 4..1.2 put through a riddle.I use this mix for everything.For parsnips i use my dibber to make a hole then fill with the compost 2 seeds cover with compost and wait :closedeyes:Every one a whopper we use a lot of parsnips in broth and with roasts so every year i grow a lot.I dont want to take chances as they take so long to germinate and this method never fails.

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Lesleyk

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 13:28 »
Not sure about the north, in general, but I sow my parsnips directly into the ground and deal with the long germination period.  I always get a good crop, with some forks but who cares?  It's the taste that counts.  I think I will join DD's group too ..... and as for the fly, I protect my carrot seed (also planted directly into the ground) with a barrier around the seed bed.  Never needed to protect the parsnips, though .... :)

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JayG

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 13:48 »
Is there a pattern here?  Posters who are in the North mostly seem to favour chitting, and members in the Midlands and South seem to favour direct sowing...probably linked to soil temperatures.

I usually sow in mid to late April and use the 'pinch every 8 inches' technique, but tried pre-germinating as well last year - surprisingly, no real difference in the time they took to appear, and some of the pre-germinated seeds didn't actually come up (I could have sown more than one per station but that would have somewhat defeated the whole object of the exercise, which is faster, reliable germination and no fiddly thinning!)

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Salmo

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Re: parsnip
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 16:09 »
Is there a pattern here?  Posters who are in the North mostly seem to favour chitting, and members in the Midlands and South seem to favour direct sowing...probably linked to soil temperatures.

So in the North they should just sow a bit later when the soil is warmed up.



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