IthaCan

Yay! Spring! 

 

I'm trying parsnips for the first time this year and they have a really long season it seems. The almanac (first year looking at that too) says to plant them now, but I thought they'd want to start later, like a carrot.  Anyone experienced with them? Suggestions? Advice?

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I look forward to a more experienced reply.  I've tried parsnips twice, with no success.  Apparently they have a very long germination time (3 weeks) during which they must be kept moist.  The packet I'm trying this year says to sow in early to mid-spring, keep moist until seedings emerge, which may take 3 weeks.  I've tried starting them inside again without success, but maybe I let them dry out?

 

Since they can be left to overwinter, I don't think the  long growing season is as much of a problem as it might be with tomatoes or something very tender like that.

 

I think Nathaniel at Remembrance Farm must know how to do it, since we've gotten parsnips from him. 

We grew them with mixed results last year.  Sowed them the same time as carrots.  The ones that did grow were quite yummy.  We planted them as seeds directly into the ground.  Like carrots, they prefer slightly sandy soil.
I've started them early and late and generally they do fine.  The toughest part is keeping the area moist and weed free until they get established.  Which makes me realize I could get some of them going now!  Put in several things about 10 days ago - the cold weather slowed them down but I saw my first arugula and spinach seedlings yesterday - and maybe a pea.....

We had volunteer spinach and lettuce left over from last season come up spontaneously.  Nice to have a bit of greens so early in the year.

 

Yes!  I love it!  We have more lettuce than we are likely to be able to eat, all volunteers from last season.  I let some go to seed purposefully for my canaries and now I have a large bed of baby lettuces.  I may not be so happy for the tomato volunteers later in the season, but maybe mulch will take care of most of them. 

 

I'm grateful that my husband paved our garden walkways with flagstone, so I can get out to the garden even when it is wet.  It seems like a good day for hand-pulling weeds and maybe for planting parsnip seeds since they like to be moist.  Moisture certainly hasn't been a problem recently!

Last weekend I finished making a cold frame using some windows that I salvaged from the side of the road.  We are going to make it a dedicated strawberry bed.  The windows will give them an early start in the spring and later I'll replace the windows with a screen to keep the birds out, but let the bees in (for pollination).  Hopefully yummie strawberries this year!

I usually direct seed them in mid-april.  It does take some patience, though, as it takes about 3 weeks for germination.  One tip I found helpful is to soak the seeds overnight before planting.

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