We haven’t had much success with root vegetables. We’ve tried direct sowing. We’ve tried starting seeds off in toilet tube inners and then planting out. We just can’t seem to get them growing reliably.
I’m sure our heavy soil doesn’t help. That should improve over time as we cultivate it, gradually working organic matter into it, but there’s space in our rotation plan for root vegetables now, so in the meantime we’ll keep trying.
It’s not that the crops fail completely; we usually get a small taster out of the ground. This year three rows of beetroots sown yielded about half a dozen beetroots. None of the carrots came up at all, and the celeriac were pretty dismal too.
However, on a trip to the plot today I went to clear the roots bed for the winter and found some parsnips that I’d all but forgotten about. Getting them out of the semi-frozen ground took a little work, and caused a little damage, but was worth the effort:
Okay, so there are only a few of them, but they’re pretty substantial, and definitely an encouragement to stick at it.