Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?  (Read 13460 times)

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2013, 08:04:54 am »
One spade depth or plough depth or 1 foot and the soil looks and feels nice. deeper than that and it's quite compacted and where i have planted trees and made deep holes for my blueberries (backfilled with ericaceous soil and sulphur chips before you ask) then it starts to be thin shale around 18 inches down and heavier as you go deeper than that.

Where the veggie patches are the ground drains well, ploughs and rotorvates nicely. It is quite exposed in the sense that there aren't any windbreaks in the prevailing direction and can whistle down the valley in early spring but hasn't been an issue during summers.

Most of the surrounding areas are used as pasture although 2 fields away did plant a sucessful fodder maize crop 2 years ago.

the oddity is that most other stuff grows really well as said: pulses, brassicas, potatoes, carrots and physallis and sweetcorn.

Physallis has been ripenng the last 2 weeks... will get some more before the frost next week. Brussells just coming in too..

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2013, 10:17:00 pm »
My parents always grew their own veg and had produced onions that were ok but that's all. After my dad died, my mum decided to sell up and quickly got a buyer. She started to sort the garden and emptied the contents of the well rotted compost heap onto a patch of land and raked it over. The sale fell through and there were no other takers so she decided to put in some more veg. She put onions in this patch of ground and had the best ever crop. They were huge and full of flavour.


Maybe that's your answer.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2013, 12:06:40 am »
PG .
The shale is your clue as to why you cant grow parsnips .. they need deep friable soil for the tap root .
 Leeks like deep well manured soil as well , though with leeks you can try earthing them up if you can't get a decently deep enough trench of a good foot deep with the bottom also dug to a forks depth and with manure also incorporated in the bottom spit of the trench.
 
 You can grow certain sorts of carrots and most other veg in a mere 6 inches of good growth medium .

A solution is to make bed extenders also known as hollow frames or ekes that have six inch walls ( or old car tyres etc ) and stack three high on top of the normal bed .
Fill with a well mixed medium ideally a sieved one one that contains very few bits of shale bigger than 1/4 " ( 6 MM ) but has plenty of well aerobically rotted dung and different beddings .
Add sharp sand to the mix to keep it open and easy draining as well as allowing air to move down into it .
 
Your  bed inside the enclosure will now be about 2 feet deep and should give you reasonable parsnips or leeks.
.

 Three is a ball parsnip for shallower soils and so many shallow or ball roooted carrots for shallow soils that i'd be here typing for hours to tell you all the names.

 These ball roots carrots and parsnips seeds can be found in the normal big seed merchants on line  catalogues (  Fothergill , Unwins , DT brown etc etc.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2013, 01:50:55 pm »
Interesting suggestions.

Next season I'd better experiment.. one section dug deep and fill the nw trench bottom with 'topsoil', another section scraped and swapped at standard depth with B&Q multipurpose and two sections as are one heavily fertilized and one left as is...whatever works can then be conisdered the next year.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 10:32:39 pm »
make your own compost it's usually far cheaper and you know exactly what goes into it,  no weed and feed treated grass cuttings or consumed and expelled wed * feed treated  meadow hay  that have a residual plant killing component that last for two years .

Look on line for, "The Berkley 18 day hot composting method "

 There are several long lists of things you can use , some quite surprising , it also moves into the theory of making a balanced compost of browns and greens which when done correctly is the absolute bees knees for your gardens .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2013, 07:34:19 am »
make your own compost it's usually far cheaper and you know exactly what goes into it,  no weed and feed treated grass cuttings or consumed and expelled wed * feed treated  meadow hay  that have a residual plant killing component that last for two years .

Look on line for, "The Berkley 18 day hot composting method "

 There are several long lists of things you can use , some quite surprising , it also moves into the theory of making a balanced compost of browns and greens which when done correctly is the absolute bees knees for your gardens .

This old man has enough trouble finding the energy to maintain my acreage and boundaries so hand turning large piles of compost isn't possible. I did experiment with using the loader for that but without a dedicated hard standing area the tractor just makes a rutty mess around it. That's why i moved to the idea of 2 plots used alternating years and mulch with waste and woodchip and plough in many months before planting.

I buy in bagged compost for use in the greenhouse and potting on seedlings.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2013, 10:06:40 pm »
I've posted this some where else on site but it might be useful to you if you come back to this thread 
 

Look online for the " back to Eden "  website and see how they use well composted chipped/pulped green wood ,leaves & twigs as a mulch over a thick layer well composted manure etc.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2013, 06:26:37 am »
We used to sow our Parsnips in November and harvest after the first frosts of the following Winter, so they had a whole year to grow. They germinate at very low temperatures so a few days of sun and they started.


We couldn't grow leeks and Onions because of Onion White Root Rot. So check the roots for a white mould which attacks the roots and destroys them. They start quickly and then the growth rate slows to nothing. Unfortunately it takes at least 10 years for the ground to recover.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2013, 09:30:38 pm »
Thanks for the November sowing tip Chris, I will put in nine square feet of parsnips  this week all being well .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2014, 11:30:29 am »
Parsnips finally making a worthwhile size so looks like it is a need to get them sown earlier.
The leeks are still not much bigger than the good sized transplants I put in however.
Zero onions so a final go this year with more attention to checking roots and keeping them thoroughly weeded.

The way i manage my veggie patches doesn't fit with autumn plantings except for crops maturing by end june - such as garlic but I will prepare an early seed bed and see what happens with  early feb sown parsnips. I can always sow more later but I want to sow some wildflower seeds and poppies (for the poppyseed) then anyway to colour one end of this plot.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2014, 09:35:37 am »
Congratulations on the parsnips.
 Leek can be sown indoors rightnow . They need deep well manured with composted aged manure soil.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2014, 11:42:05 am »
Already sowed 3 days ago in deep pots now sitting on my conservatory windowsill - along wth peppers/toms and lettuce :wave:

All trays and greenhouses washed out and jeyes'd all tidy and ready.

As we all know the ground is too soggy to work - the downside of it being this mild 'cos there's stuff I wanted to direct sow in 3 weeks - poppies in particular (for poppy seed) - as well as my broad beans (ground wasn't ready autumn) and next years parsnips. Prhaps even soe outside onion seed as well as wild flowers

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2014, 12:28:49 am »
Last year I grew my broad beans in the glasshouse in individual pots and planted them out when they were about three inches tall .

Not doing much in the glasshouse at the minute as the shoddy work of the erectors has really started to show itself ..
Inn this wet winter I have a near permanant 2 mm deep puddle all over the green house floor as one end of the glass house has settled to become nearly 1& 3/4 inches ( 40 mm ) lower than the others .. this is letting rain in .

I have to loosen all 14  anchor bolts and carefully cut the bitumen concrete to galv skirt joint compound before I can use three spades to carefully ease the fallen corner up and set it on blocks whilst I run a cement fillet around the big gap that will occur .
( my project for the next ten days of so )
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2014, 08:18:20 am »
 started my runner and french beans in pots last year.

Biggest glasshouse was built onto a low dwarf wall.. I like the extra height. Any minor leakage there soaks into the borders. My citrus house also tends to puddle..concrete floor but the polycarbonate twinwalls don't seal well enough at the corners. I siliconed one side last year and the roof - a lot of silicone.. then got lazy and drilled a drain hole at the dwarf wall base. As it happesn the extra humidity suits the citrus with low winter heat and they come out in the summer anyway.

most of my seed orders are in now... sowing onions and asters today into modules



MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Why can't I grow Onions, Leeks and Parsnips?
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2014, 10:31:38 am »
A final light rake of my firmed down onion patch yesterday and red and stuttgart onion sets planted out. As mentioned by others above I used well rotted manure rather than lively stuff. In fact I found 20 year old sheets of fossilised cow slurry on the floor of a barn. I had sheets of it overwintering outside and it broke down lovely when I dug it in ( December).
Luckily my soil ticks the boxes mentioned above so whilst it drains well for onions the deep soil with plenty of manure is very good for parsnips. When we house hunted I did not use much science but dug down a few areas to determine soil quality and I had a good look at the veg patches of neighbours.
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