Top tip for parsnips and leeks

If you’re growing your own parsnips and leeks or swede/turnip, then you’ll want to be able to harvest them as and when you need them. During the winter, this can get a bit awkward when the ground freezes up and it’s too hard to dig them up. We’d hate for this to happen on Christmas Day, so here’s how to get around it – heel them in.

“Do what?” we hear you say! Don’t worry, we’ll explain. On a nice mild day when the soil is soft, dig a small trench about 20cm deep in a sheltered spot that doesn’t get hit by frost. Down the side of a shed is a good idea. Pull up the crops that you want to make accessible – a few parsnips, leeks, celeriac, turnips and swede – and pop them in the trench nice and close together. Fill the trench in with loose soil or compost so that the veggies are covered. Don’t firm them in, but cover the trench with straw or cardboard to keep the frost off. You can now pull up fresh veggies to eat whenever you want without fighting against rock solid soil!