Gardening can be trial and error and many of us may have tried plantings etc, that had unforseen less than desirable consequences that we can inform others about.
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  • yikes i was planning to leave about 6-10! I've read about people just leaving one or two for years...maybe I will just keep a few to go to seed for my own use. umbells are a bit iffy here anyway because they often get too wet and rot.
  • By digging them up you can look for best shape roots like the ones in the photo, the rest are what eaten.I don't know if it makes any difference if you replant in rich or poor,try it out and report back i wouldn't mind knowing also.


    I normally aim to get 50 parsnips for a seed block,any less is ok for a season or two but not over the long term because of genetic bottlenecking   2129644504?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024

  • thats interesting richard, I usually sow parsnip early too, so they get to a decent size, didn't think the flavour would change much in later sowings. I am growing some parsnips that I want to let seed, how many would you grow on for seed, and when you transplant them do you think it matters if the soil is rich or poor at that stage? I am debating whether to just leave the best ones in situ to seed or not, but they would shade part of the main garden there. what are the pros of shifting them?
  • A trick ive learnt this season about growing parsnips,as a seed grower of the Hollow Crown variety i normally sow the bed thats used in the selection in late Aug/early Sep,i like to sow early so the most desirable of the plants show up better than if i was to plant them later.The whole bed is dug up mid winter the best plants replanted ,by mid summer the selected parsnips are producing seed of which some of it tends to blow about the garden ending up growing,ive found that these parsnips are even though rather small tend to be sweeter than the larger ones from the seed block.

    So from now on i will be sowing a bed of parsnips for eating only in mid summer.

  • make sure when labeling seedlings, it will last! I have planted 8 types of tomatos (over 100 plants) which i was growing for sale and now have found the pen I used was a whiteboard marker not perminant, heheheh For sale tomato plants mixed!!!! .
  • Thats good advice Isabell about the disinfecting and the brightly coloured trowel. I am constantly walking around my "little" garden trying to find where I've last put my green handled one down. Funny though, I lost my orange secateurs the other week and I finally found them 2 weeks later when I was making compost!
  • never ever never buy a trowel with a wooden, brown or green handle especially if you have a large rambling garden and are prone to getting sidetracked. I need to invest in some fluoro pink tape or paint.
  • when I first started pruning plants, i just got out the secateurs and started pruning. Then I learnt that this could be a way of transmitting disease and that I needed to disinfect the secateurs between each individual plant, so Ive been carting a bottle of disinfectant around with me as I prune for the last few years. Now I have just learnt that I should have been using metholated spirits as the most plant friendly effective steriliser.
  • Not checking how big a plant will grow and planting it next to a plant that is being dwarfed by it.
  • I always leave my tomato, bean and climbing plants too long before I tie them up. It makes the job a lot harder. So I'm resolving to get my supports, frames and stakes in place much earlier and start tying things up well before they are enormous and flopping everywhere.
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Ok ive learnt a lesson about parsnips,there has always been a wife's tale spoken about parsnips need a frost to sweeten them up before you eat them,well ive discovered that thats bullshit. Last evening we had roast pork chops,La Ratte potatoes and new season parsnips and they were as lovely sweet tasting as what they would have been during the myth BUSTED 

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Planting to climatic conditions

One of the big things I am trying to learn is to garden to my climatic conditions. I do still find myself tempted by plants that look good or taste good, that wont naturally grow in my climate. These end up being a waste of time and money. We have a good local plant nursery and I have worked out that buying things they have propagated themselves is pretty fool proof. I do have to beware of things they have bought in however.

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