The disappearing parsnip seeds

I remember seeing tparsniphat a bed was rotovated next to one of the poly tunnels and was told that it was ready to be the Go Local Food parsnip bed for 2017. I remember seeing Amy, one of the work shares, filling the furrows with a good, thick layer of nice compost. Ian, our grower, said that parsnip seeds were sown. I didn’t see that happen but he’s the man in charge of sowing and growing so who am I to argue?

A couple of weeks back I went to have a look for parsnips sprouting in said bed but could see none at all. Today I asked Ian if the seeds had grown. Nope, not one he said – will have so sow some late ones in the poly tunnels to get a crop and it might well be a bad parsnip year.

Well Go Local Food, you are not the only ones who have had intermittent or even no parsnip germination. On various allotment gardening forums that I read there have been cries of “my parsnips won’t germinate”.

Apparently they enjoy an open, sunny site and are easiest on a deep, light soil says the Royal Horticultural Society website. We did our best and provided an open, sunny site and added compost to give the deep, light soil. Unfortunately we failed the rain requirement. Lack of rain seems to be the number one cause of non germination this year. Where there was enough rain to get the seeds sprouting, parsnips are growing. Where the rain has been avoiding gardens, allotments and growing spaces parsnips are not doing at all.

Yep – we have a dry year in the area around Ovington where our growing site is situated.