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Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 24)!!

1. Parsnips are said to taste better when cooked and eaten after a heavy frost before they have been lifted. Try the following, lift your Parsnips, clean & cut them to "cookable" sizes. Put the cut pieces into freezer bags and leave them in the freezer for 1 week before cooking them. If they don't taste as good as after a frost, blame the cook/chef.

2. Thinking of harvesting your Carrots but not sure wether they are ready to be picked. The tops of the Carrots should be just showing at soil level and not green. If the width of the top looks a good size in line with the variety sown, then the length of the Carrot is probably o.k. Carrots can be left in the ground after maturity as long as they are not standing in waterlogged soil.

3. August & September is a good time to check sheds and other outside buildings to ensure that they are watertight before the Winter weather sets in.

4. Try adding some freshly picked Nettle tips to your pasta sauce. The taste is excellent, high in protein and minerals.

5. If you want some new (Autumn planting) Potatoes for this coming Christmas, August/September is the time to plant a few tubers in pots or containers filled with a mix of compost and soil. For pots of approximately 12 inches wide by 15 inches deep plant either 1 or 2 tubers per pot.

6. Adding Beetroot to your diet may help your endurance during physical exercise. It is also believed that Beetroot helps to reduce blood pressure, possibly due to nitrates contained in the Beetroot.

7. Now is the time to start thinking about pruning back Summer flowering shrubs. Wait until their flowers have fully died back, then prune.

8. Autumn fruiting Raspberries should be pruned over Winter. Cut the canes down to ground level before the end of January, ready for next years crop.

9. Bamboo plants are nice ornamental plants to have in your garden. They can become invasive if they are left to grow unchecked, especially the types that spread by underground shoots (rhizomes). Look for clumping Bamboos when purchasing.

10. Honey glazed baby Carrots recipe = 

16 ounces baby carrots 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 2 tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Directions:   In a microwave-safe dish, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on high 10-12 minutes, stirring once, until tender.


  1. I have put a late planting of potatoes in pots they have come up well - I think I will move them into the greenhouse later on when the toms have finished.

  2. Hi Elaine, which variety did you plant. I haven't tried the late planting method yet. I've just obtained some old car tyres to use as "collapse able" pots, hoping they will keep the plants protected.

  3. Rooko,

    You need to plan ahead. I know you mentioned that your Strawberry harvest has been mixed (probably due to the weather this year). You see, the key to growing Strawberries is not to keep growing them on the same plot year after year. They reach their peak after 3 years, and there after they accumulate viruses, so you should ditch your plants after 3 years, which means replacing them. The best way to do that is to take runners. If you need any more help just ask anytime :)

    (I'm making it sound complicated; you put them in the ground, they grow, you protect them from the birds; they produce fruit. It's not that difficult!)

    The Veg King

    1. Thanks for the advice Veg King. My 3 year old plants will be removed soon. I've already got oodles of runners pegged down into pots ready for re-planting.

  4. Interesting idea on freezing parsnips.I might try it as mine seem to be maturing early due perhaps to the "bad weather" ie what passes for a normal summer in North Lancashire.
    I see that Christmas potatoes are in the garden centres but not sure how they would cope up here.

    1. Hi Shinny, My Parsnips were sown early this year and most are ready now. I expected some of them to be "woody" due to their large size (extra rain and new ground) but they were pretty tender. I'm taking most of them to a car boot sale this weekend. I got the freezing tip from a grower from Wales. I learned my basics of veg gardening when I was between 10 and 15 years old "up north" the other side of the Pennines though. Can't remember planting potatoes for Christmas. Most of the cold climate crops were o.k. on loam but the Summers were short and Winters cold. I expect its still one of the wettest parts of the country, west of the Pennines.


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