On Your Marks…

If my calculations – oh, all right, some random calculations I got off the internet – are correct then today is the first day of the year here when we get the magic 10 hours of daylight. This means – also according to the internet – that it’s the point when most plants start growing again*. So time to get planting (and get out there weeding before the weeds get too much of a head start on me).

It’s just a shame that the weather gods decided to celebrate the occasion with overnight clear skies and a hard frost. So planting indoors for me, I think. I’ve started by chitting parsnips. Given their 0% germination rate last year, I can hardly do worse. Of course, that’s no guarantee I’m going to actually do better…

* I really wish I’d known this before attempting to plant basil to grow over the winter. The seeds all germinated and then sat there as seedlings for a couple of months before dying off one-by-one, with the last one perishing yesterday. If only it had had access to the internet, it might have hung on.

10 Responses to On Your Marks…

  1. Dom says:

    Parsnips are the work of the devil and the 0% germination rate is a good thing. Keep up the good work and ensure no new parsnips are grown this year 🙂

    • The Paperboy says:

      Can’t fault the logic there Dom – anaemic carrots. Perhaps the EU can ban them for not being orange enough?

  2. disgruntled says:

    Parsnips are yummy. And I don’t say that lightly about any vegetable.

  3. Flighty says:

    If you want basil, which is a tender annual, during the winter then lift plants and pot up in September then put on the kitchen windowsill.
    I’m sure that you know to use new seed for good parsnip germination, which can take nearly a month! xx

  4. Mikeachim says:

    Aye, I wouldn’t get planting outside *just* yet. Temperatures set to tumble and the snow’s predicted to batter down once more.
    Ah, but is it worth planting before the snow because the ground will be frozen stiff?
    (I’ve no idea – my fingers refuse all my efforts to turn them green).

    “Chitting” is my new favourite word. Ta.

  5. disgruntled says:

    Flighty – I knew it was tender, I just didn’t realise it was so sensitive to day length and basically won’t grow at all unless it gets more than 10 hours. Live and learn. I think if you want basil up here through the winter then freeze-drying it is the way to go.
    Mike – yes, it’s all on windowsills at the moment. I challenge you to use ‘chitting’ in a non-horticultural sense (metaphorically?) and get it taken up more widely …

  6. It’s too chitting cold to put anything outside – those who know wait until the soil temp has risen above 5C. But chitting parsnips?!? Never heard of such a chitting thing.

  7. disgruntled says:

    I hadn’t either, but something had to be done to improve the germination work. And it allowed me to do something a bit garden-y despite the frozen soil.

  8. Autolycus says:

    My mother always used to say that a flourishing growth of parsley was a sign that the woman of the house wore the trousers. But I couldn’t possibly comment.

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