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Perfect parsnips.

Parsnips are such versatile winter vegetables, making delicious accompaniments to roast dinners or additions to casseroles and spicy soups. You will need deep, friable soil for the long varieties, but shorter varieties can grow in any soil in sun or light shade.

They can be sown outside in March and April. Lettuce or radish are ideal for growing between the rows. You will need to hoe regularly to keep weeds at bay and water when there is a prolonged dry spell.

When the leaves die down in autumn, the roots will be ready for lifting, which can be done as required with a fork. Lift some in November and, if you need to store them, cut off the leaves to around 1cm above the crowns and place the parsnips between layers of dry sand or peat in a strong box. Don't let them touch each other, and store them in a dry, cool shed.

You can leave some in the ground to have later, but they are too strongly flavoured for many. Good varieties include avonresister, hollow crown improved and tender & true.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2004
Words:182
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