Planting Parsnips, Peas, and More

This afternoon we did the very first planting of the spring out in the Demo Garden. That planting encompassed 3 different garden areas.

First, we planted some onion transplants in the Pizza Garden.

We made two “trenches” about 2-3″ deep between the leeks and the garlic. (Okay, so we pulled out one row of leeks to make space.)

The we put the onion plants in about 3″ apart. We have one row of red onions and one row of Texas 1015Y yellow onions. We tamped the soil around the plants, and then replaced the straw mulch that had been in the garden from last fall.

Next up was the Kids’ Snack Garden. We have some nice, freshly finished compost from our bins, and we worked a couple inches of it into the soil before planting.

We are planting right along the drip lines this year to help keep everything watered with potential continuing drought. The sandy soil in the raised beds doesn’t move the water as well laterally, so we want the seeds to have the best chance to germinate and keep growing. We planted two rows of Easter Egg Mix radishes along this drip line (one on each side, about 1.5″ away from the drip line). On the other drip line we planted 2 rows of carrots, one row of ‘Mokum’ and one row of Kaleidoscope Mix. Along the middle drip line we will be transplanting some lettuce in a couple of weeks.

We planted some ‘Sugar Ann’ sugar snap peas in a container that will sit next to the Kids’ Snack Garden.

Then we moved over to Bed 3, which is the Fall Root Vegetables & Greens garden this year. (It is full of garlic right now, except for this end section.) We planted about 4 1/2 feet along each of the three drip lines. As in the other garden, we planted one row on each side of each drip line. We did extend past the end of the drip lines, if for no other reason than to see what difference it makes in germination and growth.

We planted radishes and parsnips in this section of this garden, and we did something a little different with it. We actually planted BOTH the radishes and the parsnips in each row. This is something that I’ve heard recommended before (and I think my dad has done it…? I can’t remember.) Basically, the biggest challenge with parsnips is that they are extremely slow to germinate. It can take 2-4 weeks for them to show the first leaves, and even then they are very small leaves. In contrast, the radishes will germinate, grow, and be ready to harvest in about 4 weeks. The radishes will help us keep track of the rows, make sure we water sufficiently, and keep the soil loose to aid in the parsnips germinating. (We may also get some help thinning as we harvest radishes!) That’s the theory, anyway. The parsnips will continue growing all summer, all fall, and possibly through the winter. Parsnips are supposed to be the sweetest after they have gone through the winter.

Anyway, it will be fun to see how they do!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on March 19, 2013, in Working in the Garden and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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