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Parsnips ( any tips please )


 
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Johnoneill2000
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 25 Mar 2013
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Location: Meath

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:07 pm    Post subject: Parsnips ( any tips please ) Reply with quote

Never planted parsnips before , heard they can be hard ,thanks
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tippben
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Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grow a few. You need to get fresh seed every year, as the seeds die quickly, so be extra careful not to leave the packet in the sunshine, sow as quickly as possible.

They want a friable stone and lump free soil. My preferred method for this is to actually scrunch up the soil by hand, as if I were rubbing butter into flour to make pastry, but you could use a soil sieve. I'm just a bit odd, and my beds are only 4 foot wide.

Don't let them dry out, but don't over water. Give them a really good soak, then let them dry a bit. If they don't have to go looking for water at all, you'll get shorter, stubbier roots. A good way of testing is to stick your hand in the soil. If it is damp don't water yet. You can use any kind of feed, but again, feed sparingly. Use a recommended dose, but don't do it often. You want roots, not lots of big leaves, and definitely not flowers!

I haven't found them that hard.
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Johnoneill2000
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you tippben
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three tips from my grow your own parsnips article on allotments.ie.....

1. Incorporate the well-rotted homemade compost or farmyard animal manure in autumn/early winter before planting/sowing, or don’t do it at all. Do not dig in fresh manure or compost as it can cause the roots to fork or fang instead of growing long and straight. The parsnips will still be fine to eat, but a pain to peel.

2. The night before you intend to sow you should soak your parsnip seeds in room temperature water for several hours. This will “soften” the seed and hasten germination.

3. When your seedlings are about 1in (2.5cm) high, thin them to leave a single plant at each 6-inch interval. There is no use in lifting thinnings for transplanting as they will just produce malformed roots. Instead snip them off at ground level with a scissors to prevent disturbing the remaining seedlings. Remove the thinnings from site and water the crop well afterwards.

As tippben said, they are not to hard to grow.

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Dirt Digger
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year was a miserable year by all accounts, and the coolest dullest and wettest in over 70 years, but, with all that said the parsnips I grew last year were my saving grace, and as everything else struggled, I was more than happy when I began lifting my Gladiators at the beginning of October to find a surprisingly good crop of roots, due in no small part to the constantly damp conditions; So, persevere with your seed, but don't allow your bed to dry out at all during the germination process and try to keep it from drying too much during the growing season...
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tunnelsofhens10
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dirtdigger, Just came upon this thread, (getting the tunnel ready) Last year I sowed Gladiator seed and had a great crop. Two questions, (1) Should one hire a JCB to retrieve them? or, (2) Should one be obliged to send back the odd kangarroo thats nibbling on the end of one. Jeeze, I went down two grape (fork) depths and still left some of them behind. Is this the norm with Gladiator? This year I"ve planted the honest to god normal bog-basic Parsnip and look forward with joy (instead of trepidation) when her indoors orders one parsnip please.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other contributors have covered most of what you need to know but the following may also be useful.

Your feeling that Parsnips may be difficult could be their very poor germination rate, i.e. probably only 25% of the seeds will actually produce crops, but they're one of the things that can suffer all the frosts you throw at them and provide food in the depths of winter.

The concept of snipping off the tops of thinnings is a novel idea (to me) and will certainly avoid disturbing those you wish to leave to mature - always a problem. However, another method is to use a crowbar, or similar, to make nice deep holes every six inches. Then, using Tippben's advice, fill each hole almost to the top with finely crumbled soil or even compost. I then put 3-4 seeds in each hole and cover with more crumbled material.

Competition growers use this format as the roots will tend to follow the easiest downward path, the hole you made for them, and produce nice straight roots for 'er indoors. On average, one of the seeds will germinate and you've a reasonable chance of finishing up with a uniform row of plants.

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