parsnip seedlings

Can anyone tell me what parsnip seedlings look like please! I've jus got a vege patch/allotment going & have never grown parsnips so don' know what the seedlings look like. At the moment it looks like a attack of the weeds so i desperately need to know what to pull up what not! Please hel - calli ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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callie said:

The seedlings look more like large parsley seedlings rather than oversized carrot seedlings. The seed leaves are long ovals. The first true leaf will resemble a tiny flat-leaved parsley leaf. They are a pale green, not dark and no reddish or purplish cast on them.
If you've ever seen coriander (cilantro) seedlings they are similar to parsnip.
Parsnips are rather slow to sprout and easily overwhelmed by weed seedlings.
When I grew parsnips, I used to lay the seeds on the soil surface or in slight depressions and cover them with (weed-free) potting soil, and either covered everything with a cloth or misted the bed twice a day to keep it moist. Anything that sprouted away from line of potting soil was definitely a weed -- and anything that sprouted through the potting soil and looked like something growing in the bare soil was also a weed.
Keep in mind, unless the parsnip seeds are very fresh they won't sprout at all. And parsnip seeds are just big enough to attract seed maggots. 8^(
When you are working with a new (to you) seed, plant a small pot of them in weed-free potting soil to use as a guide to what the seedlings will look like in the garden.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

calli ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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callie wrote:

Thanks for your help! I've now got an awful lot of weeding to do - calli ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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The seeds only last 1 or two seasons, and supposedly are hard to save/germinate, though I have never had the problem myself. (they are coming up everwhere this year from when I pulled them up and trapsed them back to the house and I have way too many seeds to plant this season) They look more like celery seedlings to me when they first shoot, rather than parsley, but yep all very similar. There are very few strains of parsnip left in the world, which is sad. They are definately an under-rated vegetable. Grow easily and unlike the ones you see in the shop, taste fantastic.
Once they get started though, you dont have to worry about weeds, they crowd them out.

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Yes, your question has reminded me that parsnips are slow to appear, and I remember having the exact same problem! Rather than trying to get out all the weeds, just concentrate on pulling out those that you recognize as weeds, i.e., the ones that have also cropped up in other garden beds. Once you have them out, things don't look so bad. After some months you will be able to make out a pattern of similar-looking seedlings has appeared at regular intervals, and these will be the parsnips. Then you can attack the few seedlings that you were unsure of, they being weeds.
--
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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