Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Saturday 25 May 2013

How to plant out Parsnips grown in tubes.

 Remember I planted parsnip seed in toilet roll tubes? Well they are ready to be planted out in the garden now.

Do not wait until "true leaves" have grown -if you do the roots may have also grown out of the bottom of the tube.

And you want to get the tubes in the ground before the tap root comes out of the bottom . 

The reason being that if the root has grown long enough to poke out of the bottom there is a risk that the parsnip will develop a forked root, and we don't want that as it makes it harder to peel !

For the same reason I have always found that carrots do not like being transplanted.

 So, make a hole in the soil - I use a bulb planter


hold the tube firmly so the contents do not fall out and carefully put the tube into the hole, so that the top of the tube sticks up a cm or so above the surface of the soil, This protects the seedling and shows you where it is in the ground

Plant out the rest, spacing them at least 8 inches apart to get large Parsnips. If you want to pull them as small ones you can space them closer together.

Water well, think about covering with fleece or net to stop birds ( hens, in my case) or cats from digging them up.

Weed as needed. Job done :-) And on to the next job on my ( never ending ) list.


  1. I've used toilet roll-grown parsnips and beetroot for some years now, but I have never thought of using a bulb planter to plant them. What a great idea! I shall be using that in the future. Thanks for the tip

    1. My fragile back means I look for ways not to have to bend too much so I'm a great fan of the bulb planter for many jobs - I have a long handled one ( like a fork or spade, but with a bulb planter on the end) which is terrific for planting potatoes.

  2. I've often grown plants in card tubes, but always have to remove them before planting. It's so dry and sandy here that, however much you water, odds are that the cardboard dries out and stops the roots growing out of the sides and they're there, unrotted, at the end of the season.

  3. I hadn't thought of that aspect about the tubes, Z! We are on 100 frrt of heavy clay so no risk of that happening to our card tubes!

  4. Great idea - I tend to slit down the tube when I plant them out so the parsnips can expand a bit.


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