Hose Pipe Bans and Sweeter Tasting Parsnips!

Leaving Parsnips in the ground until after the first frost makes them sweeter.

Apparently this old wives tale is true.  A recent study carried out in Canada placed early picked (and therefore bland tasting) parsnips into cold storage at different temperatures.  Some were stored at 10 degrees Celsius and others were stored at 0 degrees Celsius.  Those roots that were stored at the lower temperature were found to be considerably sweeter, lending credence to this old wives tale.

So, this year, leave your parsnips in the ground until you need them and they will be all the sweeter.

The weather here in Sussex has been cold again turning my thoughts to roast dinners and the delicious taste of roasted parsnips.  Hence this week’s old wives tale!  But yummy Sunday dinner’s aside, it’s a bit of a bore dealing with grey and cold after the lovely warm, dry sunny days we have been experiencing in the last few weeks.

Such little rain has led to a severe drought warning in England and some councils have already enforced hose pipe bans for gardens.  As an Australian this really makes me chuckle.  When severe drought is declared in my country it’s because the landscape is a dust bowl due to absolutely no rain having fallen for years.  The experience of drought being declared after 3 weeks of dry weather strikes me as being a little over-reactionary, if there can be such a word!

Still, the declaration seems to have nudged Mother Nature to remember her duty and the rain is falling.  Water butts, empty and green with algae are refilling and the parched ground is smiling.  Oh woops, wrong country/wrong drought.  I mean everybody has stopped moaning at the lack of rain and has started moaning about the wet weather.  Moaning about the weather – it’s a national pass time.

As a result of the colder weather, I have delayed planting my seedlings by a week or two, hoping that the weather will warm up again.  I have made some changes to my planting plan (thank you commonredstart for the advice!)  I have been busy in the vegetable patch though, hoeing the weeds that have sprung up with abandon during the warm weather and generally tidying and readying my little potting shed for the coming growing season.

How has your week been in your garden?

© Simone L Woods 2012


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