Thursday, 18 November 2010

Review of 2010 - Part 3, Roots

This has been a generally good year for my root crops. The radish got off to a good start with the sunny weather in spring and the first crop was excellent. Unfortunately the subsequent sowings suffered a bit due to the dryness. Watering produced excessively quick growth, splitting the roots. But in my part of the world I usually find the first sowing is always the best anyway. The variety I sowed is Rudolph.
After last year's total failure of the beetroot crop, I was determined not to let the same thing happen again. So I started all the beetroot in pots in the shed, 4 or 5 to each pot. I think this was wise, given the cold and late spring and it paid off. I lost no more than 5 plants when I put them in the soil - being very careful to leave the soil around the roots intact- and you can see from the picture that we had a lot of beetroots. At the end of summer I picked all the small ones and pickled them leaving the larger ones to grow on. There are still a few in the ground, I'll get them up before the hard frosts come. So if anyone tells you that you cannot grow beetroot in pots and plant them out, tell them that's rubbish because I've done it! The variety I grow is Egyptian Turnip Rooted - it seems to tolerate the damp soil and vagaries of the weather here better than other varieties.
Parsnips also did well, a mix of home-grown and bought seed produced a lot of plants. Unfortunately I planted them a little too close to the pumpkins and some of them didn't get quite enough light. Still, they will be useful for miniature parsnips for roasting. I've only picked one as yet (top of the picture) but it was delicious. The variety is Tender & True.

As you can see from the picture, I've still got a few cabbages left as well as beetroot and parsnip. Next week I'll look at the peas and beans.
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