Thursday, 27 November 2014

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

You know I have recently been showing off a few really good-looking Parsnips? Like these ones...

Parsnips "Duchess"

I harvested those Parsnips today. The bigger one weighed 240g. Long, straight and practically unblemished - just how Parsnips should be. However...
At the same time I harvested this one:

Parsnip "Guernsey Half-Long"

It's not quite so good-looking, is it?

As you will have seen from the captions, I am growing two varieties of Parsnip - "Duchess" and "Guernsey Half-Long". The distorted (or "forked") parsnip seen above is the first one of the "Guernsey Half-Long" ones. I hope they are not all going to be like that!

What is it that makes one parsnip straight and regular, and another one squat and forked? Forking in parsnips is supposed to be caused by either too many stones in the soil (there are none in my raised bed), or recently-manured soil (my raised bed had a little pelleted chicken manure added last Autumn). But anyway, both of my types are growing in the same bed, so it can't be anything to do with the soil, which is exactly the same for both.

This specimen is not entirely useless. I will remove the long straggly bits, leaving an apple-sized central core which will be OK, but it's not going to be as nice as the straight ones.

I'm impatient now to see what the other parsnips will be like. You just can't get any clue about that until you pull them up.


  1. Ha ha, there's always one which is worthy of a spot on That's Life, isn't there? It will be interesting to see what the others from that variety look like. I hope it's just a one off.

  2. I had a lot of those weird ones this year. Next year maybe I'll try a couple different varieties and see which ones handle my soil better. I just wish I had some really nice looking ones like you do. The other ones are so lovely.

  3. I will tell you what's 'wrong' with the other one - a rebel who just refuses to be like all the rest! Ha, ha.
    It is taste that counts, anyway.

  4. I'm sure they both taste delicious, Mark. I love the taste of parsnips but have never grown them as I heard they're quite tricky to grow. Is the flavour markedly better than shop bought? I feel I may have to find a little space for a few next year …

    1. Caro, yes, Parsnips fresh from the garden are 100 times better than stale ones from the shops! You know what a home-grown Carrot tastes like? Well, now imagine the Parsnip equivalent! Sweet and "perfumey".

  5. That parsnip really put some roots down, didn't it?

  6. Well it's certainly half long. Another cause us damage oi the young tap root which is why they don't transplant well, Could something have disturbed then when starting to

  7. Phew... good luck with peeling!
    The long straight ones look fantastic though. Mummm.... roasted parsnips ;D

  8. Never grown them. They are not so popular here. That is always interesting how the same seed can produce such different results in the same bed.

  9. Duchess I've heard is a good variety but I've not heard of the half-longs - hope the rest are ok. It is odd no matter how well prepared the bed one or two will fork, as long as the majority are straight I don't mind the odd joker in the pack.


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