Garden Friday – Parsnips and Carrots for Winter
Garden Friday is a regularly scheduled feature on Our Mother’s Keeper. Growing your own food, no matter the scale, helps both the pocketbook and the environment. We anticipate that this space can be one that provides inspiration and answers questions regarding the planing, harvesting, and consumption of edible gardens. Because gardening is very dependent upon your climate, please make sure you identify your general region (Wasatch Front, arid SW, Pacific NW, coastal, etc) when asking questions.
It always seems strange to plant my winter produce before the summer is hardly going. Last Saturday, I planted 25-row feet (in beds) of carrots and parsnips. 1/3 parsnips which taste much better after the first hard freeze; 1/3 carrots that will overwinter; and 1/3 are 100-day carrots that should be ready for fall.
Carrots need fine soil to send down their main root in a straight fashion. I spent a good 2 hours double digging the bed and adding compost. Other carrot tricks include planting radishes in the rows to mark them since carrots and parsnips take forever (2 weeks usually) to germinate; indeed, half the battle with winter carrots is getting them germinated which takes going out every day and keeping the shallow seeds moist. Amazingly difficult.
How about you – Do you have a carrot system you would like to share? Do you put in overwintering root veggies? What else is going on in your garden?