Hands up who struggles to get decent parsnip germination, even with super fresh seeds – yep me too.
In my final year at Park Road, I left a parsnip in the ground and it threw out pretty yellow umbil flowerheads, so I left it to do it thing. The next thing was setting seeds; thousands of them at the end of September. Anyhow, I tidied up with a bit of a hoe and rake and lo in the few weeks, there was a carpet of parsnip seedlings – in October. I don’t know what happened to the seedlings because I was busy at plot 48 the following year.
It did get me thinking about how gardening isn’t always in step with nature’s natural way of doing things and in the meantime, my parsnip harvest continued to be dismal.
Last year, I deliberately left a parsnip to go to seed and now I have a bed of really vigorous seedlings. I thinned them out this weekend – I hope the rest mature to be well-formed roots.
The next test will be how they grow during the spring; I’m hoping I won’t have a mature bed of parsnips waiting to be harvested in July! or worse they get confused and go straight to flowering.
Has anyone else tried this?