The importance of ground-preparation for root veg
Posted 29 January 2012 - 14:15
I planted two areas of parsnips last year. In the one bed (the "control-bed"), the seeds were sown straight to the tilth. In the other, I made 2ft deep conical holes using a 6ft iron spike, filled them with sieved soil and sowed the seed in the middle of each. The soil in the garden is stony and the stones are all small sharp fragments of slaty mudstone. In both cases, healthy and vigorous plants developed, but the proof of the matter would be at harvesting-time.
The results are attached. I know which method I'll be using this year! Locally it is reckoned at root veg are difficult to grow, but a bit of preparation seems to do the job OK.
Opened up last years' compost heap yesterday - lovely stuff. Wanted to get it spread as a deep surface layer before this weeks' frosts set in. It is locally said that frost does great things to compost - why I don't know but the old boys all hold by it.
Cheers - John
Posted 29 January 2012 - 14:57
Here is a link to a guy who I more or less used to share allotment boundaries with. He showed me some of his techniques for growing both large and succulent root crops, including mega carrots. Dig a deep hole and fill with two parts good compost and one part sand, or for the incredibly long crops, a water butt filled with the same soil mixture. Plant four seeds at each station to remove the weakest, leaving one strong seedling.