Things are easing off a little now on my Catalogue side of things so I hope to have some time to keep you informed of what’s going on. Again this year, three new parsnip varieties were sent to me for trial from two different breeders. One is an early variety whilst the other two are main crop, the breeder of one rates it so highly that he has no immediate plans for any future breeding work. I have sown the new seed I had of this one for exhibiting at the September shows, in particular to have then on my Malvern Display.
None of the parsnips are yet named and I have sown the early variety for our Tatton display in July. This first sowing went in on the 16th January in my large glasshouse on the land, Five 40 gallon drums with 4 bore holes in each. On the 22nd January 10 of my grey pipes on the land were also cored, bored and sowed with three stations in each pipe. This is the earliest that I have sown parsnips for many years. Five pipes had the new early type with the other five having the main crop variety. The bottom of every bore hole was filled the a 2 litre pot full of the mix below with added 300 grams of 11-11-18 slow release. The mix was as follows –1 bag F2S, 10 Lit Fine grade Vermiculite, 10 lit sieved soil (quarter inch mesh), 200 gram finely sieved bone meal and 300 gram sieved calcified seaweed.
The first lot indoors have all germinated and are now nearly ready for thinning down to one. I don’t expect the outdoor ones to germinate yet as they have no glass cover on them at all and no doubt they will take another week or so yet. With all the severe gales we have had here any cover I would have placed over them would have been blown away anyway. An example of the strength of the wind for you was that the roof of a large shed about 100 metres from our boundary flew off and landed in our field. It flew over the polytunnel, missed our glass house and landed a further 200 yards away, smashed to smithereens!!
The leeks and onions are again going to be grown in 30 litre pots, most will be on the new wooden bench in the large greenhouse as well as in my polytunnel at home. The leeks and onions are all currently at the university glass house in Aber and will initially be potted up there before being moved down on to the land.
The shallots were moved outdoors yesterday to harden up a little before planting them. The long carrot bore holes for Tatton Park show should be completed this coming week, there are three 45 gallon drums with 7 cored holes in each and 2 smaller blue plastic drums with 4 in each. This will give me 29 to select 12 from. I am hoping that I might get a set for the Welsh Championships from these as well. The long carrot mix this time is as follows – one bag of Levington F2S plus 10 ounces of Finely ground Calcified Seaweed and 8 ounces of our own Complete Base Fertiliser (the exact equivalent to Q4).