I do love parsnips with my Christmas dinner, for me, it’s just not the same without them. The growing year wasn’t a successful one overall and despite germination setbacks due to cold, wet soils, once again my parsnips haven’t let me down. My spade and fork are at the ready, I can almost taste their sweet, earthy flavour already. Yum!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 21, 2012
I’ve not had much luck growing carrots this year (thanks slugs), the last time I counted I had six carrot seedlings to show for my efforts. The larger seedlings may even end up on a plate but I won’t hold my breath. I tend to grow carrots on one side of a very long raised bed with parsnip on the other side, as pathetic as my carrots may look, my parsnip are doing great.
Are you doing any better growing carrots this year?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on July 25, 2012
We’ve had some strange weather and seasons this year, I’ve usually cut the autumn raspberry canes down by now but they’re still fruiting, the summer canes are only just starting to lose their leaves. The rhubarb didn’t really die back properly and doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do either. Snow threatened to land last week but thankfully it came to nothing. I do like snow, I think most people do until the initial excitement and awe of it disappears, the novelty soon wears thin with me anyway. Around this time last year I remember trying to find my vegetable garden which was buried under several inches of cruel snow, at the moment I’m able to visit it whenever I feel the need to ponder or escape for some peace and quiet. Prodding at the soil and making plans in my mind for the coming growing season keeps me sane this time of year, it’s a need, an urge and I just have to be able to do it. There’s plenty of Gladiator parsnips left to pull, I will enjoy some roasted with rosemary sprigs tomorrow with my Christmas dinner.
Wild birds are enjoying the food that I’m leaving out for them, they’ve already pecked their way through the dying sunflower heads of summer. I love watching the different types of garden birds that visit, it can be quite therapeutic as well as educational. A territorial robin has been amusing me this week, his antics certainly make washing up seem like less of a chore! Holly berries are also being devoured, it’s such a huge tree now that I don’t feel guilty about taking a few branches inside, along with Ivy for decoration.
Wishing all readers a lovely Christmas, many thanks for the visits to my blog and comments that you took the time to leave for me. I read each and every one of them, it’s nice to know that my little corner of blog land is being visited and enjoyed.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 24, 2011
My second attempt at growing parsnips and these have to be the best yet. No sign of disease, over wintered well, and very tasty. The variety is Gladiator and I bought the seeds from Suttons.
I am very impressed with the size of them too which is just incredible, particularly because my other attempt (different variety and position on the plot) were just OK by comparison. I lifted some for yesterdays Sunday dinner and I still have some left. I just wish I’d photographed some of the biggest ones!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on January 31, 2011
After the 2009 autumn harvest nothing but bare earth was left in the veg beds, basically I didn’t plan that particular growing season very well. Apart from being bored from lack of things to do, I was disappointed that the vegetable garden was not being given the chance to be used to its full potential.
This year I have attempted to extend the growing season by growing crops that can be left in the ground during the winter months until needed, such as Leek and Parsnip. I will also try autumn /winter sowing of peas, autumn sowing of Broad Beans as well as overwintering onions and garlic. I have never used mini polytunnels to grow more tender crops during the colder months, perhaps this is something I could also try? Any ideas?
So, what will be grown in the garden smallholding to hopefully see me through the winter months of gloom?
Leeks. Ready for use now but I shall resist the urge to gobble them all up in one swoop.
Parsnips. Probably big enough to lift now but I want them to get a frosting to sweeten. They shall be left in the ground till needed.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli? No, I don’t because my first attempt was a disaster and I was too lazy to sow again on time, gaaaah!
Overwintering onions. Sets, all ready to be planted.
Peas. Autumn/winter sowing variety, never grown these before so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Broad Bean. I have never done an autumn sowing of Broad Bean before, normally I opt for early spring. I’m not a fan of Broad Beans usually but hey if there is a sniff of an extra early season crop then it’s got to be worth a bash.
Garlic. I plan to plant garlic towards the end of October.
Swede. Disaster. I did not give them enough room and powdery mildew claimed the lot. I shall put this one down as experience.
What are you currently growing or plan to grow for winter and early spring crops?
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on September 13, 2010
It’s amazing how a sunny day sowing seeds can lift your spirit. I have been feeling very low since losing Lizzie on Saturday so I dragged myself outside armed with seed packets yesterday and got sowing.
I planted up a bed with a few rows of Nantes and Thompson & Morgan Purple Haze carrots, (first time of growing the purple type so I’m looking forward to pulling these) Gladiator parsnips, swede and Solist beets. I have left a large area for the Musselburgh leek seedlings, they are growing well and nearly the width of a pencil so they can go into their final position towards end of the month.
Swede are a first for me too, I’m trying to plan the winter and early spring season a little better this year, rather than being left with empty beds once November sets in. I also sowed some sweetcorn (rather late for me) and some purple sprouting broccoli which I will hopefully be picking next March – if I toughen up with the butterflies!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on May 11, 2010