February 2021

Leaves and guinea pig waste

Plucked parsnips prompt plan to improve soil

I’ve never really bothered about the leaves flailing around my garden in winter. I leave them to settle and lie on the grass and flowerbeds. They disappear by mid-spring. Or summer at the latest.

This year, however, I decided to take advantage of a bright day and put them to good use. The prompt was parsnips.

Last weekend, after the snow had melted, I dug up some of the parsnips I had planted last May. We had tried a couple before Christmas – after a ‘first frost’, as advised by many people – but they tasted very floral. Which was weird. It was also pretty small, and had bunched itself into a sphere, rather than a cone shape.

The most recent crop were also large and bulbous at the top, but retained oddities in shape. They had several long tentacles, like Hollywood might imagine an alien, but not one, uniform cone-shaped tail.

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