Family Relations: Parsley, Celery, Parsnip
It is easiest to grow root parsley, although for some reason many gardeners prefer its leafy relative. The main problem here is to thin out seedlings in a timely manner. It is much more difficult to get a good root crop of celery. But parsnip - unpretentious culture, however, its seeds do not germinate well.
The agricultural technology of celery, parsnip and parsley is similar. The yield and quality of root crops are highly dependent on the variety. These are biennial cultures. But in the second year they are left only to get seeds. By the way, it is not necessary to harvest all root crops, some can overwinter in the soil, if they are protected from rodents, sheltered in case of severe and prolonged frosts.
It is very important to choose the right place for growing. Sow parsnips, parsley, celery in a sunny, well-lit area, with deeply cultivated loose fertile soil. Close standing groundwater or stagnation of moisture, these crops can not stand. The soil reaction should be close to neutral. Humus (1 bucket per 1 sq. M) is laid in the ridges only in the fall, the introduction of fresh manure is unacceptable. In autumn, the ridges are filled with wood ash (0.5 l per 1 sq. M) and superphosphate (30 g per 1 sq. M). Parsnip, parsley, celery respond well to watering and top dressing: to get high-quality fruits of the plant, you should feed a mullein solution at the end of May and at the end of July an infusion of herbs with a long stem root (melilot, thistle and dandelion). These herbs are rich in potassium and phosphorus. Useful is also the extraction of wood ash.
High-quality root crops can be obtained only if seedlings and young plants are thinned in a timely manner. Use extra copies in the spring menu. This applies not only to parsley and celery, but also parsnip, which has a piquant taste. Chemical agents for controlling pests and diseases are not used in these crops, and the plants themselves, releasing essential oils, scare away their enemies. Diseases are best prevented. Before sowing, it is necessary to treat the soil and seeds with a solution of potassium permanganate. It is also necessary to observe agricultural technology and crop rotation. Members of this family cannot be used in joint landings with each other.
Due to the high content of essential oils, the seeds of parsnip, parsley and celery are similar in type, therefore, before sowing, they are soaked for 3 hours, changing water 2-3 times, dried, and after sowing, the bed is rolled. Then, to preserve moisture, cover with a film. It is even better to keep the seeds in a damp cloth until the seedlings bite, and then plant them in the soil.
Sowing seeds is carried out before winter or early spring in pre-prepared ridges. Seedlings necessarily thin out by 8-10 cm and practically do not remove greens. Only in this case, you can get high-quality root crops. Parsley is unpretentious, cold-resistant. At an early stage, it is very important to loosen the soil and weed out.
Harvesting begins in August, it is completed only before frost. Part of the root crops is left for the winter for spring consumption, the bed is mulched with peat or a dry leaf. Several root crops can be left for the winter forcing of greens. For this, the largest root crops are selected, wiped with a damp cloth and planted in pots with coarse sand or very loose, drained soil.
Parsley responds well to the neighborhood with crops such as tomato, asparagus, radish. Root varieties are best used as border plants in joint plantings with stunted tomatoes.
10 varieties of root parsley are included in the State Register of selection achievements approved for use. Among them are an early ripe variety Sugar, mid-season - Eastern, Isch Konika, Piquant, Harvest, Final; medium-late - Lyubasha; late ripening - Alba and Olomuncka.
Alas, many gardeners believe that it is very difficult to grow high-quality root celery. In fact, you just need to choose the right variety and observe not too complicated cultivation rules. Experience suggests that in the middle lane, the medium early variety Diamant is good at it. Large, round root crops weighing up to 2 kg do not form additional lower shallow roots. Such root crops do not have voids inside. During processing, the pulp retains a beautiful white color. Root crops of somewhat smaller size (up to 500 g) are Egor (mid-ripening), Maxim (late ripening), and Mushroom root (middle early).
High-quality root crops are obtained by sowing seeds at the beginning of March in containers. They are pre-soaked for 3 hours in warm water with the addition of potassium permanganate, then washed, slightly dried and scattered over compacted soil. From above, the seeds are lightly, purely symbolic, sprinkled with sand, covered with glass and placed in a warm, bright place. Seedlings with 1-2 real leaves are dived into pots and grown on a bright window sill until planting on the bed. Provide regular watering and good lighting. It is undesirable to give top dressing. Plants will not stretch if transferred to a glazed balcony in April.
Seedlings are planted in open ground (6-7 leaves). Celery is a cold-resistant culture, but it is better to hide plants from spring frosts. If they are affected, it is necessary to water the plants with a solution of the epinextra preparation. Root celery needs a large area, so plants are planted by the nesting method according to the 30x30 cm pattern.
Celery is a moisture-loving vegetable and in dry weather needs regular watering. It is suitable for soils with a low nitrogen content and neutral acidity.
At the end of August, it is necessary to remove the upper coarsened leaves in order to open the root neck to light and air, and when the cold weather comes, the ridges with celery should be covered with straw or hay to protect root crops from frost. The latter, unfortunately, are rarely preserved in the soil during harsh winters, so they are dug up and stored in the basement or put on forcing greenery. Small roots and leaves are cut. In the basement, root vegetables are placed in containers and covered with sand to the root neck.
A useful detail - celery has a beneficial effect on the growth of cabbage and cauliflower, and also due to its phytoncide properties, it repels pests from these crops. Supporters of organic farming grow celery and cabbage in joint plantings.
The most valuable are parsnip varieties that form root vegetables with white or creamy pulp, delicate aroma and pleasant taste.
Parsnip is a cold-resistant culture, so its seeds are sown in the same time frame as parsley. Pre-soaking of seeds during the day will increase seed germination. Then they are dried and sown to a depth of not more than 1.5 cm. A row with crops is covered with a film in order to maintain increased soil moisture, otherwise the seeds may not germinate.
Parsnip grows well on loamy or sandy loamy well-drained soils with regular watering. For varieties with a long root crop, the soil should be deeply cultivated. This crop should not be fed with nitrogen fertilizers: root crops will be poorly stored. During the growing season, it is important to double-hooded plants so that the top of the root crop does not turn green in the light.
Harvest in late autumn before the onset of stable frost. If the first frost occurs in early September, parsnips are covered like celery. Root crops are perfectly stored in the basement. Some root crops for spring consumption can be left in the garden, mulched with peat or a dry leaf. In spring, root crops are used before the growth of leaves begins.
In hot weather, touching the green mass, rich in essential oils, can cause burns on the skin, so take care of the plant very carefully.
Root crops of excellent quality are produced by new varieties of parsnip - White Stork, Culinary, Heart. They are noticeably superior to the old varieties Round and Best of all.
At a parsnip you can eat not only root vegetables, but also leaves, young shoots and even seeds. They are used in cooking as a seasoning for soups and second courses, fish sauces.