A quarter of the parsnips

Because I planted four rows on the plot and only about a quarter of them survived which was a bit off putting. After the success of sowing parsnips direct in the newly dug over lawn at home, and they all showed up (even though the seed was last years), I did likewise on the plot. This time, they didn’t show up and I expect it was a mixture of them just not germinating and the ongoing problem of small beetle like creatures that seem to eat carrots and parsnips within seconds. We had this problem last year and after covering them over and spraying with a bit of bug killer, plants managed to get through. They seem to like carrots, parsnips, celeriac. I’m still trying to work out what they are. This has left a bit of a pare patch on the plot all year, a constant reminder of things not quite working out.

After days of dark cold and wet winter days this week, today was sunny (but still cold) and so I thought I would harvest some of the things at the plot, including these parsnips. Even with the small number that made it through, I was able to dig up quite a good collection of pointy parsnips. Instead of thinking “what could had been” if they had all survived, I reminded myself that I still had the two rows at home to dig up at another time.

The fennel I felt was starting to over shadow and smoother the young garlic and so I thinned it out a bit by harvesting some of the plants. While none of it would win prizes in a show, it was still very much usable and some of it had actually formed a a bulb shape at the end, ie it looked like fennel. By just taking out three plants opened up more light and air for the garlic plants, we’ll do some more another week.

I wasn’t going to do much more but then I thought I’d take a look at the small bit behind the gooseberry bushes which had had chard planted in the past but for quite a while now has just been a bit of weedy wasteland. The idea is to move the gooseberry bushes to put them next to the other fruit bushes (and in doing so be able to cover them with netting a lot easier). I won’t be doing that until at least next month. Once I’ve moved them it opens up a new bed and the weedy bit can be incorporated. I started to dig it a bit but noticed a huge amount of bindweed roots and so I quickly switched to double digging it taking out any roots that came up. This was slow moving and so only managed to do a small bit before I thought I’d come back to it later on in the week. I am sure I won’t get all the weed out, but I feel happier doing it this long slow way instead of a fast ‘nodig’ approach.

Onions looked like they were doing well (I weeded and picked up blown down tree leaves), the leeks looked pretty poorly (rust and leaf miner). Turnips all good (but got too many of those at home at the moment) and the swedes I pulled one up to take home. I also felt it time to bring home one of the crinkly savoy type cabbages, rather small but good for a single serving of coleslaw at tea time.

I could had spent longer at the plot, and I would had done had it been Friday and a day off work (what ended up being dark and rainy all day). Instead I came home with a heavy bag of vegetables.

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