A Parsnip in the making – 1

Parsnip seeds can be difficult to germinate.  After two years of reaping one or two parsnips to about 15 seeds sown I found a trick that gives me a good bounty of parsnips. The parsnip journey starts at the beginning of April.  I germinate the parsnip seeds on damp kitchen paper in a plastic container, cover with clingflim, and leave in a kitchen cupboard so there is no rush of bright light.  I usually give the seeds a spritz of water every three to four days so the paper does not dry out.  It takes about two weeks before the radicle appears and once it has grown about the size of my small finger, I take the containers to the allotment.  The trick is to cut the paper around the seed into a square or rectangle and place on the soil and carefully cover with a sprinkling of seeding compost mixed with a little sand.  It works every year. Every seedling grows. This year I got a lovely surprise, one seed had started to sprout its seed leaf.  1 Not a great picture but you can see the seed leaf unfurling.   I am going to follow this particular parsnip over the coming months.

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