The Circle of Life

The circle of life was completed today on the Two Chances Veg Plot as far as my parnsips were concerned. A few are harvested every Sunday to go with the roast dinner and today was no exception. It was also sowing day for my first ever long parnsip attempt in the pipes now installed in one section of the raised bed.

The mix had been in for three days and had hopefully settled as much as it was going to. After a thorough soaking 5 Gladiator seeds were popped into the centre of each pipe, sideways on, then lightly covered, and the end of the pipe then covered with polythene to keep them a bit warmer and protected until germination. Now it’s just a waiting game as parsnip germination can be very slow. Hopefully all the seeds will come up and I’ll eventually thin down to the strongest one. Over the next few weeks I’ll sow more directly into the beds but using a station sowing method into cores of the same mix spaced every 6 inches or so. This should hopefully give me some nice, large parsnips come Autumn. Then I’ll be preparing my mix for the long and stump carrots that will go in over the next 2-3 weeks.

Elsewhere on the plot the digging is now finished. A top layer of well rotted chicken manure is hopefully drawing up the worms to work their magic and will be lightly forked in ahead of planting. The broad beans sowed in Autumn are about 4″ high and looking strong, as are the onion sets. Two PSB plants have survived, one of which is the largest I’ve ever grown, not in height as it’s only about 4′, but it’s a monster width-wise and I’m hoping it will crop heavily soon.

Inside I’ve pricked out the chilli, pepper and onion seedlings. There’s a tray of Brussel Sprouts (Bedford) germinated and tomatoes have been sown (Marmande, Gardener’s Delight, Moneymaker, Tumbling Tom Red, F1 Incas & Golden Peardrop). I’ll be sowing more brassicas this week, cauliflower, cabbage, calabrese and PSB.

So with March approaching the activity level is starting to warm up like the weather will be hopefully. There’ll be lots to do over the next few weeks with sowing reaching frenetic levels and seed trays on every available windowsill in the house. Hopefully there will be no late cold snap, March will be nice and mild, and we’ll all be off to a flyer!!

As mentioned on UKVG there’s a new on-line publication for children and schools called Grow Time which is packed full of information to get children into growing their own fruit and veg. Well worth checking out.

It’s our local Horticultural Society’s Jumble Sale on Saturday so if you’re in South Wilts why not come along and support us.

And finally there’s a Seedy Sunday event this Sunday in Downton, South Wilts. I’ll be there as I’ve got nowhere near enough seeds ;).


16 responses to “The Circle of Life

  1. I’m likely being a total moron and not using my eyes, but could you let us know what your parsnip mix consists of, please.


  2. Hi Richard, I’ve not quoted the mix as it’s not mine, I got it off Darren (Blicky’s Blog) and I don’t want to take credit for it. I’m sure if you contacted him he’d be able to help.

  3. I got a message about the Grow Time site too so have linked from the website for schools that I have created.

    Still no plotting for us yet. talking of circle of life which came first the seed or the parsnip – another chicken and egg conundrum

  4. Blimey, you put me to shame. You’ll have everything sown by the end of March and I won’t have even started. Actually, I’ve sown my first seeds today, but only peppers. It will be a while before I chance any tomatoes. We had snow here again yesterday, so I hope you don’t get caught out.

    • Plenty of time yet Jo, these are just for mid August show dates, the bulk of my parsnips will be sown in the next 4 weeks for Autumn/Winter eating.

  5. Looking good! How much trouble is it to keep the soil in the pipes moist?

    I love parsnips but at the moment I’m thrilled if I can even produce short gnarly ones!

    • Amy, that’s the key question and probably going to be the deciding factor. When I filled them the other day I thoroughly wet the mix so am hoping the moisture will be retained and topped up through regular watering at the top and bottom of the pipe.

      I’m trying a station sowing method for the main roots direct in the bed – I think it was in the Jan edition of Kitchen Gardener. Will see what happens.

  6. Talk about out with the old, in with the new! BTW, I found a copy of that Madhur Jaffrey book on Amazon secon dhand for £3. Best money I ever spent – cooked three curries from it for a birthday feast for family yesterday, even the regular visitors to India were impressed, so thanks for the pointer!

  7. How wonderful to be harvesting and sowing something at the same time 🙂
    I hope the weather is kind to you.

  8. Pingback: Every Minute of Every Hour “I Love a Sunflower” « Two Chances Veg Plot Blog

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