Thursday, May 3, 2018

Growing parsnips successfully

Top tips learnt from growing parsnips

  • Plant them - they are really easy to grow
  • Thinning is a good idea or you get teeny ones beside the big ones
  • Plant in spring for a winter of fully grown parsnips
  • Make sure your soil is loose so that the parsnips can grow down easily or they have multiple roots rather than one large one.

Parsnip with Lego Darth Vader for size comparison

In trying to get my garden producing all year round, I planted parsnips in October with my spring plantings. I planted Guernsey parsnips.
I dug up the soil and made some small trenches for the seed.
I wasn't sure of success so I planted two rows.
I didn't expect many parsnips on my first attempt, so I didn't bother with the thinning.
The parsnips were watered regularly over the summer.
They grew very well.
They say to wait until after the first frost before harvest to make them sweeter. We did eat some before the first frost and after. They were all sweet and delicious.
We have had parsnips in the ground all winter.
They have kept well in the ground and when we have needed parsnips I have dug them up from the garden.
Something to note - apparently if they sprout again the middle becomes inedible so remember to dig them up before the weather warms up again - I must do this because the few still remaining in the ground have started sprouting.
Having parsnips, potatoes and kumara meant roast dinners could come from the garden. This year rather than just the salad season, we had a roast meal with all the vegetables from our garden, the sheep from the farm next door and cider made with our apples. We were quite proud.

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.