Well things were starting to warm up and the weather forecast was for some sleet overnight so it was a bit of a shock to wake up to a white world again on Thursday. It was actually thicker than the last lot of snow. I reckon we had about 6 ins. Some areas drifted up a lot more than that.
There’s really no knowing with our weather so I don’t know why I’m surprised. By the afternoon it had started melting again. Still, there were a lot of happy kids around as they’d got yet another day off school. By Friday there was little left and Saturday saw our temperatures shoot up to 12ºC which cleared the last of the snow. So it started raining.
I’ve managed to catch a rotten cold that’s doing the rounds. I don’t think the weather is helping. I’d popped across the road for a quick chat with my neighbour across the road. He’s really busy with lambing at the moment and his sheds are all given over to maternity wards. We’d talked for longer than I expected and I got a bit chilled – should have put my warmer jacket on or maybe his graphic description of sorting a tricky birth was making me shudder.
Meanwhile, over in my maternity ward the parsnips have mainly germinated. In fact I reckon I’ve had about 80% germination. Just to recap on the story so far…
The seeds were soaked for 3 hours in lukewarm water with a teaspoon of cinnamon and an aspirin dissolved in it. Cinnamon is a natural anti-fungal and aspirin is chemically similar to a growth hormone found in many plants. (see Germinating Parsnips)
Then they were sown quite shallow in rootrainers, on average 2 per cell – except for a few slip ups that got 3 or 4. The rootrainers were covered in propagator lids and then placed on a heating mat set to take the compost temperature up to 20ºC
In hindsight I could have sown just one per cell – but this is the first time I’ve tried this method so it’s all a bit of an experiment. I’ve ended up 8 blanks so with a bit of luck and a following wind I’ll have 56 decent parsnips in 9 months time.
Just after taking the photos I thinned down to the strongest central seedling in each cell and watered well to settle the survivors down. The lids have come off but I’ve left them on bottom heat for now. Does no harm and they’ll come off heat when I need the space.