As you’ve probably gathered, I’m way behind this year what with all this book writing malarkey and so forth. Anyway, I downed tools and went on strike this afternoon, which is a bit strange when you work for yourself. Down at the plot the first thing I checked were the shallots. As I feared, those blasted pigeons have been pulling a few up. I’d thought about covering them with a fleece when I planted to keep the birds off, but I was getting tired and left it. So, fleeced up the shallots and garlic. I know from last year the pigeons will pull those as soon as they pop the first shoot up.

In fact there were a couple of pigeons sitting on the electricity wires, I swear they were laughing at me. If I had a gun I’d wipe the smile off their faces!

Having done that, the next raised bed to get my attention was the one that had had root crops. There were still quite a few parsnips left which were happily starting to sprout again. Parsnips are biennial, the first year produces the root and the second uses the energy stored in the root to throw up the seedhead.

Since I wasn’t trying to raise seed, it was best they all came up. Well there were a few forked and twisted but generally these were the best parsnips I’ve ever grown. We’re past the time for storing parsnips, nature knows it’s growing time, so we’ll have to freeze what we want to keep. Two very full and heavy carrier bags came home.

Only problem with getting them home was my back. I don’t know what’s happened but to say it’s giving me problems is a huge understatement. It’s not time on the plot, I suspect it’s too much time sitting in a chair in front of the PC. Anyway, I’m living on ibuprofen at the moment and if it isn’t better soon I’ll have to visit the doctors. The deep joy of ringing endlessly to get engaged only to be told there are no appointments that day when they do answer. Anything to keep their targets up.

I really could do with getting the rotovator out but I don’t feel up to mauling that about at the moment. Cleaned off the weeds on the half barrels where I grew carrots last year and added another one which had the spent compost from some pots. I mixed in a goodly amount of fish, blood & bone and intend to top them up with fresh compost and sand mix.

Set up the raised bed coldframe so I’ll plant a few first earlies next time I’m down on the plot. Hopefully the soil will warm up in it with the lid on.

That’s about it for the afternoon, hope the boss isn’t too mad with me for skiving off.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
5 comments on “Parsnips!
  1. helen says:

    John, get off the pain killers and see a chiropractor..that will sort your back out…

    suffer with mine and amazing what thye do I walk (hobble) in almost bent double and within minutes pain free and ready to go again…

  2. Julia says:

    I had a bad back for five years, since getting a memory foam matress it has solved the problem even after a days digging.

  3. richard says:

    Hi John do what i did and buy a auto spade saves a lot of backache and time or as you dig get the wife to sort the weeds

  4. frank layton says:

    Hi John ,

    Have the same problem , and my Doctor is qualified in Acupuncture .I know it is not effective with everyone but it works for me. If I cannot get an appointment soon I use a body belt with magnets in it – don`t know why it works but it does. Hope it helps .


  5. kate allen says:

    try devils claw its a herbal tablet that works I have on going back problems and they are good

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