Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

bill_j_smith
KG Regular
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:06 pm

Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby bill_j_smith » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:44 pm

Hi

Last year i tried growing my parsnip seedlings in those cardboard pots you can buy from the garden centres; when it came time to transplant them in the soil, i planted the whole pot (based on the theory that the pot would disintegrate or that the seedling would grow and destroy the holding pot). This doesn't appear to have happened.My question is: are parsnip seedlings too weak to destroy these kind of pots (I am concerned about pulling the seedling from the pot as i don't like to disturb the roots on a root vegetable).

Regards

Bill
0 x
In the UK, ambition is punishable by tax.
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 6930
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
x 1417

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Primrose » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:30 pm

I think if you want to want to start off your parsnips in this way you would be better off using the discarded cardboard inners of loo rolls and kitchen tissue rolls. They decompose far more readily and I think you'll find that several people on here grown them using this method. Start saving them now so you have enough by sowing time!
0 x
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 3091
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 795

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:42 pm

Personally never had any success with coir pots with either root or brassica vegetables.

As Primrose suggests I found they do not rot away quick enough. Also in the case of parsnips I found that as the root formed and filled the partially unrotted coir pot there was too much moisture retention around the shoulders of the growing plant.

The brassicas I tried in coir were stunted due to the roots being held back.
0 x

The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
User avatar
oldherbaceous
KG Regular
Posts: 12444
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:52 pm
Location: Beautiful Bedfordshire
x 946

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:13 pm

An even bigger problem with growing parsnips in pots, or in the ground for that matter is, if the root comes into contact with anything hard, (bottom of a pot, stones or even hard ground), the growing tip gets damaged or stop growing, this then causes the roots to fork, or they end up a small dumpy shaped parsnip.
0 x
Kind Regards, Old Herbaceous.

There's no fool like an old fool.
bill_j_smith
KG Regular
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby bill_j_smith » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:19 pm

'the growing tips stop growing and split', and that's exactly what happened to mine - the ground i have is heavy clay with rocks (lots and lots of rocks) so this year i am going to grow them in the same 'bags' that i grow potatoes in.

thanks for all your help.
0 x
In the UK, ambition is punishable by tax.
Monika
KG Regular
Posts: 4255
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:13 pm
Location: Yorkshire Dales
x 661

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Monika » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:50 pm

I use LONG roottrainers for my parsnips and make sure I plant them just as they reach the bottom of the cells. That seems to work. And, like others, I have certainly found that supposedly biodegradable pots or even loo paper rolls, don't disintegrate quickly enough, especially if it is a dry summer..
0 x
PLUMPUDDING
KG Regular
Posts: 3269
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:14 pm
Location: Stocksbridge, S. Yorks
x 380

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:19 pm

I've used pelleted seed for both parsnips and carrots for the past two years and have had the best crops ever. You don't have any waste, you can space them evenly and don't need to thin them out. The germination is excellent even in two year old seed. I have a few of the same seeds left and will see what the germination is like this year, its third year.

I found that they germinate faster if you keep the soil just moist.

I'm trying to make my gardening as quick and easy as possible and this cuts out a lot of faffing with great results.
0 x
bill_j_smith
KG Regular
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby bill_j_smith » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:58 am

'pelleted seed'- i haven't come across that term before.
0 x
In the UK, ambition is punishable by tax.
User avatar
Primrose
KG Regular
Posts: 6930
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:50 pm
Location: Bucks.
x 1417

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Primrose » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:14 am

Pelleted seeds have been around for a long time and can be very useful for sowing very tiny seeds at the right distance without overcrowding but my experience is that they are not readily available, and when they are, you have a very limited choice of varieties from which to choose.
0 x
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 3091
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 795

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Pa Snip » Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:00 am

At the end of the day it is the variables which have the greatest effect upon success or failure of germination and crops.
Standard, Pelleted or even Taped seeds may work for person A but on the plot next door person B may have totally different results using exactly the same seeds. I have not tried pelleted or taped seeds for years. I tried them when they were relatively new, or at least when I was new to vegetable growing, without much success. The pelleting and taping production methods have probably improved since then with greater germination success rates

For parsnips in 2014 I used fresh standard seed sown directly in a open ground 9inch raised bed. I had covered the bed with fleece for 3 weeks before sowing. Once sown the fleece was put back in place and the area was kept lightly 'misted' moist.
The fleece was removed once germination had taken place and leaf growth was about 1 inch. After that I only watered that bed during long dry spells

The resultant crop was my most successful to date.

However as a result of crop rotation I may find this coming season will produce a completely different result. This year the parsnips will not be in a raised bed for a start.
When it comes to growing, nature has the final say. We can only do our best to influence and assist it.
0 x

The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
bill_j_smith
KG Regular
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:06 pm

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby bill_j_smith » Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:19 pm

A 9" bed, now that's interesting; i was going to use the potato growing 'bags' as i have seen that ye olde parsnip requires about 2 foot depth. Is that the case or have I been mislead (not that difficult to do really)?
0 x
In the UK, ambition is punishable by tax.
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 3091
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 795

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Pa Snip » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:55 pm

Two years ago I made a few 2ft deep raised beds and last year I tried growing parsnips in them.
Each was filled with a mixture of home produced garden compost + topsoil + commercial compost in equal parts and well mixed up so as not to form layers.
In 2013 I grew parsnips in them and couldn't have been more disappointed. For some reason when they got to about 6 inches down the majority became forked stumps

The other difficulty I encountered was that those that did achieve size without forking were damn difficult to dig out because of the height of the bed.
Unless someone is growing parsnips for show purposes I now can't see any point in growing either long root carrots or parsnips in beds that deep.

I now use them for Garlic, Beetroot, spring onions and salad crops
0 x

The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
User avatar
Tigger
KG Regular
Posts: 3212
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:00 pm
Location: Shropshire

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Tigger » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:00 pm

I use Johnboy's system for parsnips. Sow fresh seed onto damp kitchen towel and wait until the seeds germinate.

Then sow directly into the ground or use loo rolls, root trainers or those card/coir pots until they get established then tear out the bottom of the pots before planting them into the open ground. That way they grow through and you don't have to thin them.
0 x
User avatar
Motherwoman
KG Regular
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:03 am
Location: Isle of Wight
x 13

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby Motherwoman » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:58 pm

I think I'll try the Johnboy method this year as I always fail with parsnips. Others around me are digging superb specimens and mine cease to be at the germination stage.... :(
0 x
User avatar
FelixLeiter
KG Regular
Posts: 830
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Parsnip seedlings in seed pots

Postby FelixLeiter » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:05 pm

PLUMPUDDING wrote:I've used pelleted seed for both parsnips and carrots for the past two years

I've not encountered pelleted parsnip seed before. The seeds are actually quite large — they are winged, broad disks — so space-sowing is straightforward, even with my rubbish sight. The received wisdom is to sow two or three to a station, each station at the final spacing, and then thin to the strongest seedling once they have germinated. This has always worked well for me. I'm not convinced there's anything to be gained by sowing in pots, modules or what have you and then transplanting, which is surely only worthwhile if you want the earliest crops for harvesting in summer. Parsnips are a winter veg, is how I see it. Parsnips are completely winter hardy and if soil conditions allow, I direct sow at the end of February / early March.

I've noticed in some seed catalogues that parsnip seed is available as "primed" seed. I have not tried sowing primed seed, but it sounds like the right direction to go in if germinating parsnips continues to be troublesome.
0 x
Allotment, but little achieved.

Return to “Best practices”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests