Pro­tect roots, plant cher­ries, har­vest chard

Amateur Gardening - - Contents -

HAVE you ever trudged down the gar­den in mid-win­ter and at­tempted to prise a mam­moth parsnip from frozen-solid earth? Let me con­firm that it’s not much fun!

If you’re be­ing ut­terly half-hearted about it and just use your hands the leaves rip off in a huge tuft, and if you try more en­thu­si­as­ti­cally with a fork you can barely get the prongs into the soil. In such in­stances it’s far bet­ter to pre­vent the soil be­com­ing frozen in the first place, which can eas­ily be achieved with some in­su­lat­ing ma­te­ri­als. It’s not only parsnips that ben­e­fit from pro­tec­tion – car­rots, cele­riac and swedes also ap­pre­ci­ate this treat­ment. Here’s what to do, step by step:

It’s not much fun try­ing to prise large parsnips out of the frozen earth, so now is the time to cover them up

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