Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sweetcorn And Desperate Parsnips

Back with the veggies, I've finally got around to sowing my sweetcorn.

I know I'm later than some, but I tend to find that early sowings slow up once they are transplanted. Mine may go in the ground later, but they take off straight away and usually catch up the early birds. The other drawback of getting them in the ground too early, is that they are more vulnerable to slug and snail attacks while they sit there in the (usually) wetter part of spring.

Mine are sown in my homemade paper pots (as used for my French climbing beans) so that the roots don't get disturbed when transplanting later in the season.

To help with germination I rehydrate the seed overnight. I simply get an old Flora tub (other buttery spreads are available), line it with some doubled-up kitchen roll, and pour some water in. Not so that it's swilling about, just so that the paper becomes totally saturated. I then place the seeds on the wet paper and leave for 24hrs before sowing.

This is the only seed I treat in this way. I've read about people germinating their parsnip seed prior to sowing, but I've never had a problem with parsnips. I stick mine staright in the ground - this year they went in on April 8 and they were coming up quite nicely when I was down the allotment last week.

Sometimes I think we can make things too complicated. At the end of the day, seeds are desperate to grow. It's what they do. Only the poorest of conditions will stop them.


  1. I was surprised to hear that parsnips are supposedly hard to grow. I'm growing them for the first time this year and have two rows coning through really thickly. Maybe it's beginner's luck!

  2. I think it may be beginners luck, as mine have not germinated. I'm going to have another go, this time directly in the tub.

  3. I don't chit my sweetcorn seed and have never had any problem with germination. My daughter sowed my seed for me last week and they've germinated nicely.

  4. I don't chit my sweetorn - just give them a soak overnight before sowing.

    I've never had a problem with parsnips. Fresh seed always helps.

  5. I started quite a lot off indoors as the weather was so variable; just when I thought it was safe to plant out, we had another cold snap. I think under cover sowing gives peas and beans a chance to establish before sending them out into the world to fend off the enemy (slugs, mice, etc). Love your comment about keeping it simple - I agree!

  6. Parsnips (and spuds) are the only things I chit as my parsnips have been patchy in the past and this way I know I'm only sowing the seeds that are okay. On the other hand, I've not had a problem with sweetcorn - they all seem to pop up lovely. I agree too though - simple is good!

  7. Thanks everyone for taking time to stop by my blog.Your comments are always very much appreciated. It's nice to know we're not talking to ourselves :)