sowing parsnips in loo rolls

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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taralastair
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sowing parsnips in loo rolls

Postby taralastair » Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:30 pm

I remember this topic coming up last year and going into some detail about how and why to do this, however I have searched the old forum and can't find the thread. Anyone kindly willing to explain the process to me?
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Tara
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Chantal
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Postby Chantal » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:40 pm

I tried growing parsnips in loo roll centres the year before last. It worked OK but I found that when I planted them out the tap root was already below the level of the roll, even though the seedling was very small. I tried to keep the root in a straight line when planting out but clearly failed as all my parsnips were huge down to the level of the loo roll and then forked, twisted or just stunted from there. My stepfather tried this year and from my experience planted them a lot sooner before the roots appeared out the bottom. He had parsnips with tops over 4ft high and roots so big he's struggling to dig them out, especially in the cold weather. It's clearly worked for him but I think the centres of kitchen rolls may be easier to use as they're a lot longer. Last year I planted Tender and True and had fantastic germination and growth so I'm doing the same this year.

The other problems I had were firstly the toilet rolls drying out very quickly; I ended up with a whole bunch of them in a tray with cling wrap round the outside to keep the moisture in. Secondly the soil around the edge of the roll developed some sort of orange/red fungus. I was advised to spray them with Roseclear to sort this out which I did, but I'm not keen on using chemicals and nothing else seemed to work.

Hope this helps in some small way.

Chantal
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Postby nog » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:46 pm

When I use toilet Rolls I put 12 in a 2 litre icecream tub. Then just water into the tub.
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Wellie
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Postby Wellie » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:41 pm

Hi taralastair,

:oops: I learned my most public lesson near enough this time last year as I posted up proudly that I'd just transplanted huge numbers of pre-germinated parsnip seedlings into 'cut-off' loo-roll cardboards, and then VERY kindly got 'chopped off at the knees' by Johnboy, who then massively came to my aid, supplying a veritable 'wealth' of loo-roll innards.

Naturally, I'm still hugely embarrassed, but not enough to say that the time between transplanting the pre-germinated seedlings into said loo-cards, and actually planting them into the ground should be done 'as humanly quickly as possible' - for the exact reason that you state !
This year I'm going to do exactly the same process, but to do it 'later'. Our parsnip were SO HUGE, and went further than Australia, and I can't get to the bottom of them to dig them up proper !
Hope you do great this year !
Right there with you...
Wellie
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taralastair
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Thanks for your help

Postby taralastair » Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:57 pm

Thank you all for your advice, however I am still very novice at all of this. Could anyone spell it out a bit for me. What do you mean/how do you "pre-germinate" the seeds? I was assuming you simply planted them direct into the loo rolls filled with seed compost. Is it a damp kitchen roll sort of thing like I remember doing as a kid in school? How do you handle them once germinated?

Cheers

Tara :?
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Help on parsnips

Postby jane E » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:44 pm

Parsnips are notoriously difficult or fussy about their germination. All the books say February is the month for planting but it isn't because it's too cold. However, they do need quite a long growing period, so a lot of us like to get going with them inside so that they can go out as soon as conditions are right. BUT they don't like being transplanted - being moved. It makes them fork. So we get round it by putting them into a container that will rot away after it has done it's job - hence the loo roll.Loo roll though has a disinfectant or similar impregnation, so kitchen roll is better - hence fungus. Many a year I have sown parsnips directly into the ground and virtually nothing has come up.I now have a system, which is different again from loo roll,which needs a few minutes every 2/3 days. At the end of March or whenever the weather is turning slightly springlike, I prepare a seedbed and draw my first drill.I germinate parsnip seed on damp kitchen roll in a covered container in the airing cupboard.At the very first sign of germination, I put the 'pre-germinated'seeds into the drill at the crrect spacing and cover. I put a marker where I've got to in the drill and carry on every few days until I've planted all the seed that is going to germinate.I've had good crops this way and no forking, but it's a difficult method working at a distance on an allotment.
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Postby jim bob » Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:30 pm

hold on till mid april to sow,
i had great succes with germinating the seed on some kitchen paper that was damp and covered with plastic , when root apearied i planted them in there
final poision , got a great crop .
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Postby Allan » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:01 am

Just a bit more won't hurt. The best choice for this general technique is Avonresister, a very good pedigree and about the shortest one around which is a considerable advantage.The GQT experts recommended it. There is no point in using a long-rooted exhibition variety. The final point on our experience is our loo rolls went mouldy and we found long rootrainers were a far more sanitary approach (sorry about unintended puns) I'll pull the plug on this topic.
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Johnboy
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Sowing Parsnips in Loo Rolls

Postby Johnboy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:11 am

Allan,
Have you ever considered that it was you overwatering that was your problem when using the Loo Roll method. They need a minimum of water and this should be done on an individual basis.
To say that 'Avon Resister' is the best to use gives the immpression that other are not at all suitable and this is very far from the truth.
Such varieties as 'Tender and True' and many more of the older varieties were grown in Loo Rolls long before 'Avon Resister' was available.
I grew 'Contess' very successfully by this method last year and prior to that I grew 'White Gem' and in the past 'F1 Gladiator' which produces very large specimens. This year I am growing 'F1 Gladiator' pelleted seed as a trial but sowing direct. I also will sow 'Countess' in Loo Rolls the usual amount of 90. I do not find the Gardeners Question Time team that good on vegetables unless it is Pippa Greenwood, who is superb at just about everything horticultural.
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Postby Guest » Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:16 pm

Of course I'm not saying that nothing else can be grown but we had two troubles. First was drying up of the plants so most of them died, so more watering next time and the rolls went mouldy. Our anwer there was to use Rootrainers. Second, in the usual muddle it is only too easy to leave the plants too long before planting out, maybe the soil is to wet to go on it or just forgetfulness. This causes malformed roots. However we found that with Avonresister which is short rooted you just cut off the tangle of roots and you have a good chunk of edible root left. No doubt careful gardening can get better results with other varieties but we were well satisfied with what we got, certainly not show quality.
Incidentally I am not responsible for growing our parsnips.
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