Charting the progress on my allotment in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Friday, 11 November 2011
I dug up the first of the parsnips at the weekend, and delicious they are too. I've always started my parsnips off in pots and then transferred them in to the ground once they'd germinated, but this year I thought I'd try sowing them direct. My soil contains quite a few stones so I decided that I would sow them the same way as I do my carrots and channel out a trench which is then filled with multi purpose compost before sowing the seed. This gives the parsnips some soft earth to grow down in to rather than hitting stones and forking. The seeds are quite large which enabled me to space them out evenly, avoiding the need for thinning out later. I also started some seeds off in pots, as I have done in previous years, and transplanted them once they had germinated. The two parsnips on the right are the ones which were transplanted. As you can see, they started off well having nice wide shoulders, but they must have forked just as soon as they were transplanted, after hitting stones in the ground. They also suffered from a bit of canker but it was only skin deep and didn't affect the flesh at all. The three parsnips on the left are the ones which were sown direct. They've still forked but not before growing a little longer than the others. I think I need to dig my trenches a little deeper, so I'll try that next year. They still tasted good, and there's lots more in the ground to last through winter.
I usually plant some hanging baskets up with pansies for winter but I haven't got round to it this year. I must make an effort to take a trip to the garden centre or nursery otherwise I'll regret not having a bit of colour around when we're in the depths of winter. I choose pansies as they stand up to the cold and wet weather really well. They were covered in a foot of snow last year yet they still survived it and went on blooming all winter.
We've had a bit of a grey week here, though it's stayed mainly dry. We still haven't had our first frost, and the grass continues to grow. I thought it had had it's last cut a few weeks ago, but it's actually in need of another one. I wonder if it will stay dry long enough now for the lawnmower to come out again.
I'm a forty eight year old mum of two and I live on the outskirts of Leeds in West Yorkshire. I've been married to Mick for twenty six years and we have a son, Daniel, who's twenty two and a daughter, Eleanor, who's eighteen. I gave up work in 2010 and now have more time to indulge in my hobbies of knitting, crochet and gardening. I hope you enjoy reading and will follow along with my adventures.