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Medwyn Williams

Hello. I'm Medwyn Williams – eleven times Gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Past Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Fruit Vegetable and Herb Committee and President of the National Vegetable Society.

Parsnips, Long Carrots, Celery and Blanch Leeks


The wonder of technology, yesterday I took my first video with commentary of my parsnips and Long carrots growing for the middle of July and targeted at the Royal Welsh Show. Have a look at it and do let me know what you think of them. When you consider that the technology in my hand was no bigger than a box of Swan matches the pictures were very good! The camera I have constantly with me, attached to my belt, is a Sony 4X optical zoom Steady Shot DSC-W530. Not an expensive camera at all but with its Carl Zeiss lens it certainly takes some super pictures. All I need to do now is to be able to use it better and take video pictures as the plants are growing away.

The parsnips were sown towards the end of February a brand new variety which is going to be the replacement for Polar F1 which will no longer be available from the breeder. This is currently a number only and if it performs to expectations it will certainly feature in my New seed Catalogue for 2012 – 2013. I like the look of it at the moment as it seems to have a much shorter top than Polar with very powerful stalks, lets home there is something powerful below as well! In addition it’s suppose to be one of the whitest parsnips to date.

The long carrots seed was sown around the middle of March and the mix was nothing more than a bag of F2S with an added 10 litre pot full of Fine grade Vermiculite. The seed is from our selection of New Red Intermediate with the stock having been inter planted over the past few years with specimens from John Branham and Graeme Watson. To have good vigour in your carrot seed you need to be planting plenty of them, one or two is not sufficient to maintain the vigour within the selection. This year we have over 30 planted up right along one side of my old wooden Parsnip bed. The heads are the most powerful I have ever grown and I’m now hoping for some bumper large seed with help from the bumble bees, once they find where the seed heads are!

We are now slowly catching up on the land after the dismal April and early May. Last Friday I managed to get my second sowing of celery planted, the variety was Morning Star. I have never planted out before from such small pots, they were actually only 4 inches and shallow as well. However the weather was good and the plants were well rooted so rather than re potting, into the soil they went straight in to their Link-a-Bord raised beds. These are two boards high and erected on the soil adjoining my polytunnel with 5 plants in each bed. Prior to planting a dusting of Mycorrhiza Root Plus powder was applied to the planting holes and the celery produced from these beds last year were superb. The soil was well worked over with my little lightweight Honda rotavator with well rotted farm yard manure incorporated. Also added was Medwyns Complete Base Fertiliser 5.3-7.5-10 +TE (trace elements) at 4 ounces per square metre as well 4 ounces of Nutrimate.

The same day I re collared my first lot of blanch leeks, the Pendle Improved, from 15 inch collars to 18 inch collars all made from Builders Damp Course. These are intended again for the Royal Welsh show and they should make some excellent specimens. These were struck from an excellent early head of pips during early October while my usual ones, those for late August and Malvern were struck towards the end of October to early November.

Celery Morning Star in Link-a-Bord raised beds with five plants per bed

Video of parsnips and long carrots 030612 short version


Growing Parsnips

25th July 2007 I am often asked what is the best method of growing both long carrots and parsnips for the show

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