Beans, Carrots & Parsnips

Last year was the first year I grew parsnip. On seeing the rather sorry-looking green foliage in their row my father-in-law enquired as to what I was growing there.

“Parsnips” I said proudly.

“Are you sure?” he questioned.

“Well, that’s what I sowed!”

“Doesn’t mean you’ve got anything growing under the surface.” he ended on.

Now ordinarily, when he says something like this I panic, as he’s usually right. So come last November, after the frosts had touched the parsnips (which makes them taste better), I decided to see exactly what it was that I had failed to grow. That night I took a bag containing two parsnips to my father-in-law – it weighed in at 2lb 6.75oz. My moment of glory 😛

Of course…this year will probably fail miserably, but that’s what I sowed today – a 30ft row of Hollow Crown parsnip.

Added to that I also sowed half of our broad beans – Imperial Green Longpod, with the rest going in next month. If we’d started earlier we could have sown some in February, but then February was so cold and frozen it would have been impossible to plant them!

Also went in one third of the carrots – F1 Maestro – supposedly carrot fly resistant, which I’ll believe when I see it. The first year we had perfect carrots, and I’d unwittingly planted them with companion plants – onions and garlic. Last year we ended up with carrot fly but managed to salvage some of them. Although we’d also sown the onions next to them, we’d put more carrots in than the previous year and I think the balance just wasn’t right. This year I’d heard of old timers earthing up their carrots in early May to confuse the first round of carrot fly that arrives. If they can’t get to the tops of the carrots, so the theory goes, then they can’t lay their eggs close enough to the carrot. We’ll see what happens…

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