TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

October 20, 2012

Anyone can grow carrots & parsnips!

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 7:51 pm

Gill has just sent in this photo saying :  

Proof that if I can grow a prize winning carrot and parsnip anyone can!! You can use on TopVeg as proof of how helpful your website is : )

novice grower

novice grower

Thanks Gill!  I know you took up vegetable gardening four years ago.  Haven't you done well! Your photo will inspire new gardeners - knowing that anyone can grow carrots & parsnips!

March 24, 2010

How to Grow Parsnips

Filed under: root veg — Tags: — TopVeg @ 11:28 am

The traditional time for sowing parsnips is February, but parsnip seed can be sown from March to early May.  In our vegetable garden the parsnip seeds do better when the soil has warmed up, & canker is not such a problem with late sown parsnips.

Parsnip – Latin name Pastinaca sativa

We grow the parsnip variety – Avonresister because:

  • good canker resistance. The disease Canker is a big problem for parsnips.
  • ideal for small gardens
  • does well in density cropping. Growing enough root crops to last the winter is always a problem, so  growing more, smaller roots suits us.

There are 3 main shapes of Parsnip:

  • bulbous types with rounded shoulders
  • wedge types which are broad and long
  • bayonet types which are long and narrow

Click this link for details of some other parsnip varieties.

Soil preparation :

  • soil is well dug in autumn with a little manure or compost mixed in.
  • if the soil is dug in the spring, do not add any manure, as fresh manure causes the parsnips to fork. If manure is not added, sprinkle a phoshate/potash fertiliser over the soil when raking  out the seedbed.
  • if possible, prepare the seedbed a few weeks before planning to sow the parsnip seeds, by raking the soil down to make small crumbs. This will create a stale seedbed, encouraging the weeds to grow, so that they can be removed before sowing the seed.
drilling-parsnip-seeds
drilling-parsnip-seeds
parsnip-seeding
parsnip-seeding

* sowing depth – 1cm
* distance between seeds – 10cm
* distance between rows – 30cm

firming-seed-row
firming-seed-row

After sowing:

  • firmed the row down with the rake head
  • water the seed  in  to firm the row
planting-parsnips
planting-parsnips

Pull out small weeds as they appear, allowing the parsnip plants to grow without any competition.  The stale seed bed system should reduce the number of weeds growing after sowing.

Germination is very slow in parsnips, so it is important to be patient and to keep the row weed-free.

Below is a picture of  young parsnips  at the 3 true leaf stage.

3true-leaves-parsnip1
3true-leaves-parsnip1

In the second photo, the two seed leaves can be seen below the three true leaves of the parsnips.

parsnip-3true-leaves
parsnip-3true-leaves

Thin parsnips to 6 inches apart when the plants are tall enough to handle.  Throw away the thinnings, as they will not transplant.

Hoe regularly between the rows to keep the weeds down.

Lift the parsnips when the leaves begin to die back in late autumn, or leave them in the ground and use as required.  The flavour improves after the first frost.

digging-parsnip-goodfridaydigging-parsnip-goodfriday

The last parsnip in the garden was eaten on 13 April.

dug-parsnipdug-parsnip

Storing parsnips:

If the parsnips are being harvested, leave them on the surface of the ground to dry before putting them in a cool, dry, dark, frost free place.  Do not wash them before storing.

July 24, 2009

Slugs Damage Parsnips

Filed under: pests&diseases — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 8:15 pm

Slugs are causing damage to the young parsnips. The White Gem parsnips planted in mid-June were growing well.

young-parsnip-plant

young-parsnip-plant

Last night one was severely damaged.

slug-damaged-parsnip

slug-damaged-parsnip

shiny-slug

shiny-slug

March 28, 2009

Parsnip Varieties

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:41 pm

*Avonresister*

    * small conical roots
    * good mini-veg – grown at close spacings, 3in.
    * good canker resistance

*Countess*

    * vigorous , heavy cropper
    * uniform, high quality,smooth-skinned, sweet roots
    * good tolerance to canker

*Dagger *

    * smooth skinned, bayonet shaped, tender roots
    * suitable for mini veg
    * good canker resistance

*Excalibur *

    * smooth, almost bleached white-skinned roots with creamy flesh of
      sweet flavour
    * good tolerance against canker
    * good storage properties

*Gladiator*

    * fast maturing, vigorous
    * consistent high quality flesh, silky-smooth white skin, sweet
    * good yield
    * high resistance to canker

*Javelin *

    * good quality roots of smooth skin and good flavour
    * good canker resistance
    * high yields
    * good resistance to ‘fanging’ (forking of the roots)

*Tender & True*

    * long roots of mixed size
    * vigorous
    * good canker resistance

*White spear*

    * smooth skin
    * good colour

March 15, 2009

Name the Tool Competition – Parsnip Digger.

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 3:31 pm

 

parsnip-dug

parsnip-dug

 Thank you to everyone who entered the Name the Tool Competition.  The tool is actually a
parsnip digger.

We received a great range of suggestions, and I was beginning to doubt
the name we were given. But I then chatted to a farmer who worked on a
farm in Royston in the 1960s. He remembered 15 men walking out in the
mornings, each armed with a parsnip digger. They spent a couple of hours
lifting parsnips, then they pulled the turnips by hand! All produce was
loaded onto a lorry destined for the following morning’s market in
Covent Garden.

Thank you to Sara from farmingfriends who has joined with us to promote the Name the Tool Competition.
It is good to have another joint project along with the interblog leek growing project
Some of the interesting answers are listed below:

    * a soil aerator or an old fashioned pitch fork? farmingfriends
      

* for lifting onions ? oktarine
    * a hole maker for planting bulbs? Meg Wolff

    * It looks like my aerator but mine has a shorter handle and wider
      forks. Carver

    * a mushroom or garlic picker? Chris & Laurie
    * an aerator for use on a lawn or other compacted piece of ground?
      Alice

    * THIS IS MY PATCH  said “Are       you sure it isn’t just a broken fork …!!!”

    * John – Farmer giles from Farming Memories said, “Nearest that I can Guess
      is that it would be used for digging out Docks

    * for uprooting nettles? A nettle remover! farmingfriends
      

    * a potato digger? Jean

Thank you, again, to everyone who took part and also to the 94 year old
gardener who gave us the parsnip digger! We are proud that he considered
the parsnips in our vegetable garden worthy of such a tough tool!

click on the image to enlarge it

parsnip-in-ground

parsnip-in-ground

pushing-parsnip-digger-down

pushing-parsnip-digger-down

 

dug-parsnip

dug-parsnip

October 13, 2008

Bayonet Shaped Parsnips

Filed under: root veg — Tags: — TopVeg @ 8:02 pm

John has grown these magnificent bayonet shaped parsnips on his allotment in Yorkshire.

Bayonet-Parsnip

Bayonet-Parsnip

There are 3 main shapes of Parsnip – (Latin name – Pastinaca sativa ssp. sativa)

  • bulbous types with rounded shoulders
  • wedge types which are broad and long
  • bayonet types which are long and narrow
Parsnip-Bayonet

Parsnip-Bayonet

The bayonet parsnip above is 10″ or 26 cm long! John boasts that these parsnips are just the
thinnings! The final crop of bayonet shaped parsnips will be much larger!

July 14, 2008

White Gem Parsnips

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 9:50 pm

The White Gem Parsnip seed was planted in mid-June, and the young parsnips are now at the 3 true leaf stage.

3true-leaves-parsnip1

3true-leaves-parsnip1

In the second photo, the two seed leaves can be seen below the three
true leaves of the parsnips. Click the image to enlarge it.

parsnip-3true-leaves

parsnip-3true-leaves

The stale seed bed system is paying dividends, as very few weeds are now germinating.

Germination is very slow in parsnips, but the white gem parsnips have
come through and are now growing well.

April 13, 2008

The end of the parsnip harvest.

Filed under: root veg — Tags: — TopVeg @ 10:27 am

 

digging-parsnip-goodfriday

digging-parsnip-goodfriday

The end of the parsnip harvest has arrived.  The last parsnip in the garden
was eaten today, 13 April.

dug-parsnip

dug-parsnip

The parsnip seeds were sown  on 15 May, and the variety was Avonresister.  They have yielded very well and provided us with an adequate supply of parsnips for 7 months.  The taste and
quality of the parsnips has been good.  This year the parsnips were not lifted and put into store, but kept in the ground.  This was quite satisfactory because the season has not been too hard.

May 15, 2007

Planting Parsnip Seeds

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 7:34 pm

Parsnip seeds have been planted today. The traditional time for sowing parsnips is February, but in our vegetable garden the parsnip seeds do better when the soil has warmed up.

Parsnip – Latin name Pastinaca sativa

Variety – Avonresister

Chosen because of good canker resistance, and ideal for small gardens and high density cropping. Growing enough root crops to last the winter is always a problem, so the opportunity to grow more, smaller roots seemed worth taking.

Soil preparation :

drilling-parsnip-seeds

drilling-parsnip-seeds

    * luckily the bed had been covered with polythene to keep the rain off. So the soil was dry.

parsnip-seeding

parsnip-seeding

    * sowing depth – 1cm
    * distance between seeds – 10cm
    * distance between rows – 30cm

firming-seed-row

firming-seed-row

    * the row was then firmed down with the rake head
    * the seed was watered in  to firm the row

planting-parsnips

planting-parsnips

April 8, 2007

Parsnip Canker

Filed under: pests&diseases — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 5:13 pm

Parsnip Canker is the most serious problem with parsnips.

Latin name – Itersonilia pastinaceae

Brown or black patches appear on the shoulder of the root which then
become soft and rotten. The secondary rotting which follows the initial
discolouration is caused by fungi or bacteria.

The Cause of Parsnip Canker seems to be root damage, which allows
the canker to enter the broken skin and cause rotting.

The initial damage can be caused by:

    * careless hoeing
    * cracking caused by heavy rain after a drought
    * carrot fly

The remedy is

    * use of canker resistant varieties
      
    * better cultivation
    * later sown crops, as these are more resistant

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