And the Results are In!

Folks who read my blog know that just before last Christmas, I scattered parsnip and carrot seeds on some of my beds to see if they would take.

The theory behind this is straightforward: if you duplicate what nature does, nature will lead the seed to sprout at exactly the right time for your area and environmental conditions.

As part of this experiment, I used four beds — two for parsnips and two for carrots.  In each case, one bed was used for randomly scattered seed and in the other bed that seed was lightly tilled into the ground.

Where I live, we get heavy snowfalls after Christmas and it isn’t unusual to have three feet of snow on the beds in March.  Winter temperatures usually get no lower than -5 degrees, and typically hover in the teens at night.

The results are thus:

Parsnips did better in the beds where the seed was randomly broadcast but not tilled.  I have so many parsnips I don’t know what to do with them all!  Carrot seeds did best in beds where they were lightly tilled in.  In both cases, planting just before the heavy snows resulted in seeds sprouting at the perfect time and getting a head start on weeds.  By the time I weeded, the seedlings were large enough to be well differentiated.

Parsnips and carrots are part of the same family as parsley and celery — so it is possible that these latter two crops would do just as well with similar treatment.

So if you live in the North, now you know the deep dark secret for getting lots of parsnips and carrots with hardly any work except preserving them after harvest!