Garden: Growing Parsnips

I didn’t think I liked parsnips based on the burnt sticky  things that accompanied occasional meals out, however it turns out that I do like parsnips when they aren’t overcooked; which was a good enough reason to decide to grow them in 2018

Parsnip seeds are apparently not very stable to the extent that using old seeds can lead to poor results – “old” can apparently mean even last years – which could be a pickle as my seeds for this year were bought in last year’s end of season sale

However I plan on trying them anyway, apparently parsnips should be sown directly into the ground between late March and June; planting earlier isn’t a great idea as parsnips hate wet soil and want the soil temperature is 12 degrees Celsius.


(Photo from Pinterest)

The seeds should be sown thinly, or clump three seeds together 1.5cm deep and with 15cm intervals between sowings – multiple rows should be spaced 30cm apart.  Germination sounds very slow, up to 28 days, during which time the seeds may want watering if it’s very dry

Once germinated the seedlings want to be spaced 7cm apart – unless you want big roots at that point 10cm is better. Once they are growing parsnips don’t want much attention – however being too wet or too dry will split them.

Harvesting – the best bit of growing anything, can be from late Autumn until the end of January; the foliage beginning to die back is apparently the main indicator.  Although apparently even after the foliage dies back the roots can be left in the ground and picked as wanted. Rumour has it that being left in the ground until the first frost will lead to sweeter roots – I will be testing this!

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