Saturday 19 April 2014

Revisiting my roots

No, this is not a post about family history, I just thought that was a clever title!

About 6 weeks ago I sowed carrots and parsnips in my big Woodblocx raised bed, but the germination rate has been very low - probably only about 10% - so I have re-sown them. I even double-checked to see that the seeds were still within their "sow by" dates, because I could hardly believe they had done so badly. They were all fresh seeds. Maybe the weather was the cause, because it has been a lot dryer than normal for this time of year.

I made sure to do the re-sowing as quickly as possible since I had to remove the "Enviromesh" carrot root fly protection in order to do the task:

You can see that the row of radishes dividing the carrots from the parsnips is fine:

One of the types of parsnips (Guernsey Half-Long) had germinated OK. Here you can see them in the right foreground. I deliberately sowed them in a wide swathe rather than a thin row, since I plan to thin them out to make what will be effectively a staggered row, giving each root plenty of space to grow.

Here's a view from directly overhead.

They look all right, but only one or two of the other type of parsnip (Duchess) had germinated. Likewise, I could only find about 20 carrots in total, from probably hundreds of seeds, of three different types. Funnily enough, the germination rate of the finger carrot varieties sown in the plastic crates has been completely different - extremely successful, despite using 2-year-old seed. I'm not taking the mesh off to show you though!

The radishes are just about big enough to pull. I can hardly wait. Home-grown radishes are just so much nicer than bought ones - crisp and tasty as opposed to rubbery and bland!

Here's hoping for a better germination rate this time!


  1. Maybe the soil was too cold - did you do the Monty Don test?

    1. Is that the one where he sits on the soil with a bare bottom??

    2. Well, in that case, No! My goodness, what would the neighbours think, eh?

    3. They'd be out of upstairs window with their Lumix on full zoom"

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. I just had a very good laugh, you two! A gadrening serial with Monty Don has been running on Croatian TV now... I just have the very image of ground testing in my mind! Maybe I should try it, I have only one neighbour...

  2. I'm having the same problem with my carrots, they seem very slow to germinate. I'm not bothering with parsnips this year but then again I said the same about sweetcorn & got swayed by a multi coloured variety. I hope they come through for you soon.

  3. I hope the next carrots do better for you. But at least you have some good looking radishes.

  4. Goodness, 10% isn't very good at all. They do need to be kept moist in order to germinate so you could be right about the dry conditions. I hope your next sowing do better for you.

  5. Your garden is just beautiful. I can't believe how much further you are ahead of us. Our climate is supposed to be very similar to the UK.


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