Saturday, 8 January 2011
Parsnips and earthworms
I put in a catch crop of chard in between the parsnip lines to remind me not to sow there, and to get something out of the space 'til the parsnip leaves came up.
You must sow fresh parsnip seed every year, again, as the books say. It hardly seems worth testing this with last year's seed, as there's enough wondering will they/won't they as it is.
It was gratifying to see some really juicy big earthworms. They would have been too much of a mouthful for the current robin that is bobbin' about. There was a nice crumbly soil structure. However, forking over the patch for a full investigation will have disrupted the soil ecology. I put a mulch of strawy manure on top to protect what is left of it from rain, and for the worms to drag down. Sorry there no pictures of the worms here, but there's a really nice identification guide at the natural history museum site, British earthworm slideshow, and this survey project looks like something to follow up, UK earthworm survey.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to seeing Cleve West's parsnip flowers in his Chelsea garden this May, Cleve West video