Parsnips

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by ricky101, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. ricky101

    ricky101 Super Gardener

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    Hi,

    Looking to grow some Parsnips which have never done before.

    Have tried many times with carrots, but always poor results , they never seem to get down into the soil, which is not heavy clay , but does have some in there , though it has had plenty of compost etc over the years.

    Seems a raised bed or container of sorts is needed, so any suggestions of how deep a container it should be and whats the best medium to use, I assume lots of sand ?

    Any particular variety suited to northern England ?

    Only looking for cooking not exhibition.
     
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    • Peter K

      Peter K Gardener

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      I tried growing carrots with little success as well - deformed and carrot fly. I also have a raised bed.
       
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      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

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        @ricky101 I sow Gladiator and find it to grows well, it is fairly resistant to canker, but can still get carrot fly. Parsnip seed needs to be fresh each year as it doesn't keep. It can be slow to germinate. I've tried germinating in plugs and transplanting, this works to some extent but they are very prone to severe forking if the tap root is damaged. I may try chitting indoors and then planting out directly out into the soil this year. Soil conditions as for carrots but deeper soil as they can easily go down 18" to 24".
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Super Gardener

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          Sounds like you need more sand in your soil like me.

          Stop the fly by covering with the thin white horticultural fleece, cheap enough from the discount stores.
           
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          • joolz68

            joolz68 Total Gardener

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            Ive never grown them before,i bought palace f1 to try and no idea if its a good one but will give them a go in a raised bed i think :)
             
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            • CanadianLori

              CanadianLori Total Gardener

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              I thought I grew it one year. Not much luck. Then the next spring, I was about to pull all of the weeds in that raised bed but luckily realised they were all in a nice row. Pulled on one and got a lovely little parsnip . Let them grow and then had lovely fat (although a bit hairy) roots. Yum!
               
            • Mike Allen

              Mike Allen Super Gardener

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              I never had problems when growing veg crops. My father and I had a set area for the runner beans. It was a strip of land say 3ft x 25ft. Eaither end was home to a fairly stout pole plus two spaced in between. A cross bar was fixed to the top and bottom of each. This held horizontal strainer wires. The beans were soaked overnight and sown directly into the ground. Verticle strings were added and the beans grew well. The ground space in between was used as a seed bed. Various brassicas whould be sown and when large enough, were planted out. Root veg seeds were always sown direct en site, and thinned out. Parsnips are at their best once a good frost has hit them. All root veg will store well. I have seen parsnips being grown in clay soil drainage pipes. Incidentally, we had no water on the plot. We sunk 50 gallon drums and filled these from cans of spring holes in a local copse.
               
            • Freddy

              Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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              This might be helpful....

              Tips for growing Parsnips
               
            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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              Only thing I would say is totally disregard the instructions on the packet.
              Often it come out with rubbish like sow from Jan onwards, yeah, wonder why they say germination is slow:scratch::biggrin:

              I'd not sow until March at least around here.
               
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              • Snorky85

                Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                I’m going to follow your parsnip advice @pete and sow in march.
                 
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                • Scrungee

                  Scrungee Well known for it

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                  I've been collecting loads of bog roll tubes to use that method yet again this year, important points are:

                  1) Get your tubes the right way up. The pointy ends of the spiral should be inside the tube at the top, and outside at the base where the tubes sit in something like a 24x cell tray. If the other way round, the tops will start unwinding when they get wet and the top portion of compost containing seeds can fall out.

                  2) Approx. 3 weeks to germination, so don't sow 3 weeks before going on hols! EDIT: That was in a polytunnel, could be only 2 weeks in an unheated greenhouse.

                  3) Only a few days from leaves showing to tap root reaching bottom of compost where they will be 'air pruned'/become distorted which will cause forking, so plant out ASAP after showing.

                  4) Remove all but one seedling. I just nip the tops of others off, but watch out for further seeds germinating after planting out.

                  5) Set the top of the tubes flush with soil level to avoid cardboard acting as a wick and drying out compost/seedling.

                  parsnip tubes.jpg



                  But the odd thing is that after years of failed parsnip seed germination, abandoning a portion of veg patch can produce a flush of parsnip seedlings
                   
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                    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
                  • Freddy

                    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                    I can’t remember for sure, but wasn’t it more like 14 days to germinate? (Under cover)
                     
                  • ricky101

                    ricky101 Super Gardener

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                    Have got some spare sweet pea fyba grow tubes, under £3 for a pack of 20 from the local garden center.
                     
                  • Scrungee

                    Scrungee Well known for it

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                    My 3 weeks was in a small polytunnel in an exposed location. Was (your) 14 days in a greenhouse?
                     
                  • Freddy

                    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                    Like I said, I’m not sure how long it took, thought it was around 14 days. Yes, in the unheated greenhouse.
                     
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