Parsnips need a longer growing season than most root crops. You can start sowing successions from now until mid spring for a continuous crop.
Always use fresh parsnip seeds as they lose viability quickly. They also take a long time to sprout, so cover your rows with hessian sacks for 2-3 weeks to keep the weeds at bay while they get started growing. Avoid sowing parsnips in newly manured ground as they develop forked roots.
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Runner beans, salad greens and sweet corn can all be sown under cloches or early tunnels.
Small numbers of spinach, stump-rooted carrots, mustard, cress and turnips can be sown now.
As the ground warms – shown by a flush of new weeds, keep the soil around your planted hoed and weed free.
Fruit trees can be sprayed with copper oxychloride to prevent fungal disease developing later in the season, ensure you cover the whole tree and all the buds. Mix 25g of crystals to 5L of water (1oz in 5 Quarts).
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