Growing root vegetables

by Pippa Greenwood

Root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips don't like my garden. I can understand why: the soil is full of rocks, which can lead to the formation of forked roots.

Image of freshly harvested parsnipsRoot vegetables such as carrots and parsnips don't like my garden. I can understand why: the soil is full of rocks, which can lead to the formation of forked roots. It also has a fair amount of clay, which causes the seeds to rot before they've even germinated.

I've recently installed some raised beds, which should make growing root crops easier. I'm also growing parsnips and carrots in woven polythene planters. Filled with a mixture of some sandy imported soil, a bit of the native soil and a little well-rotted manure, the bags are providing just what the root crops need.

The parsnips are galloping away and I can almost taste them roasted in a little olive oil. The planters are more like large bags than beds, which means they are easy to move around and can be packed away at the end of the growing season until they're next needed.

My tip for growing crops in planters is to buy ones with drainage holes in the sides as well as the bottom, as they can get quite waterlogged otherwise!

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Gardeners' World Web User 29/05/2009 at 12:48

After sending for the free seeds from BBC Gardeners World I am enjoying seeing them start to grow I always plant Early potatoes and Runner Beans, but have never had the courage to try to grow seeds and am delighted to have seen them start to come through, I have planted them in Large Pots and am looking forward to my first taste of the Rosso Lettuce, Beetroot and Carrots.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/06/2009 at 05:10

Parsnips seem to be very hard to grow here in Bulgaria! Have sown seed stright into ground to no avail. So after reading Pippa Greenwoods comments on growing parsnips I am going to try growing in bags, my vegetable garden, new this year seems to be mostly clay so it need a bit of work!

Gardeners' World Web User 04/06/2009 at 12:35

last year my brussels looked like small cabbages instead of nice and tight. what did i do wrong.

Gardeners' World Web User 06/06/2009 at 21:30

Carrots and parsnips - use a half a grow bag. Cut the bag around it middle to make a pot. Grow tomatos or potatos in it one year then save it. Plat carrots etc in it next year.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/06/2009 at 18:21

I have not been very successful raising carrotts in the garden, I set them in early April and have seen nothing as yet. How ever not to be out done I decided to set some carrott seeds in pots of compost following onfrom tip given on Gardeners world and hey presto!!!Success..And quick too. They only took a couple of weeks to germinate in the green house..

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