Give parsnips a spot in your garden this spring, and you'll enjoy their homegrown taste throughout next winter. Parsnips taste sweeter after frost and don't suffer if you leave them in the ground until you're ready to eat them. 

This delicious, hardy winter vegetable develops its sweet, nutty flavor when cold temperatures turn the starches in the root to sugar, so traditionally the first parsnips are only lifted after a hard frost. If you do harvest parsnips before a frost, bag them up and keep them in the fridge for two weeks to sweeten the roots.


Planting:
 

Loosen the soil to a depth of 2 feet and remove rocks and clods. As soon as your soil can be worked, sow parsnip seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows that are 6 inches apart. Keep the seedbed evenly moist. Be patient. Parsnips can take more than two weeks to germinate.

Spacing: 

When your parsnips are 6 inches tall, thin them to 3 inches apart. Put a layer of compost around the plants; then sit back and watch your crop grow until fall.



Growing Parsnips

Parsnips are easy to grow members of the cow parsley family. This family includes carrots, dill, fennel and parsley among others. These seeds tend to have a short period of viability, so new packets of seed should be purchased every year.

This family also need warm temperatures to germinate and the air temperature has to reach 12C (52F) before germination occurs. Wait for spring to arrive before you sow any of them. However seeds should be acquired in good time because this vegetable regularly heads the top ten seeds list and can sell out quickly. 



Pest Watch and Disease Alert


Parsnips rarely experience disease or pest problems. Rotating your crop on a three-year cycle prevents scab (Streptomyces scabies), a disease that causes corky scabs to form on roots; and soft rot, which causes water-soaked spots on the leaves and roots.

Carrot rust flies (Psila rosae) lay eggs near the crown of plants, and their larvae burrow into parsnip and carrot roots, causing rotting and reduced yields.

Cover your seedbed with a row cover to keep these pests away from your crop.


Harvesting


Parsnips mature in about 120 days. But the roots taste sweeter if they're left in the ground until after the first hard frost. You can overwinter parsnips by covering them with a 2-inch layer of mulch. Harvest the roots as needed throughout winter and spring. Finish harvesting before new growth begins.

Parsnips are very hardy and they can be left in the ground until April. This makes them well worth growing for winter use, because you dig them as you use them.

Join the Discussion

Have you grown parsnips?  What other tips/tricks can you share with other readers? COMMENT BELOW!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

FEATURED POSTS

VIEW ALL BLOG POSTS
The SECRET to getting more tomatoes on every plant

The SECRET to getting more tomatoes on every plant

Maybe it's time to give your tomatoes a little bit extra "care and encouragement", in the form of spanking them. Now, we're not endorsing plant abuse here by any means, but what we are suggesting is making sure that all of those tiny flowers get the proper pollination they need to produce fruit. 
How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin from Seed

How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin from Seed

If you’re planning on growing a GIANT pumpkin, keep in mind that you may need anywhere from 400 sq. ft. all the way up to 1200 sq. feet for just ON...
38 Edible Flowers To Plant In Your Garden

38 Edible Flowers To Plant In Your Garden

Nothing will impress your friends and family like sprinkling some colorful flowers into a salad, onto pastries or even as a garnish in their favorite drinks. Edible flowers will add a beautiful splash of color to many dishes and they are readily available, when you're growing them right in your own garden.
15 Herbs You Can Grow at Home To Make Your Own Tea

15 Herbs You Can Grow at Home To Make Your Own Tea

These 15 herbs will make a wonderful addition to your collection of "tea making supplies"!  Start curing your ailments naturally by growing your own herbal remedies. You can use them individually or mix and match to create unique tones and flavors that are suitable to your own liking. 
Your Guide to Gardening Through all 4 Seasons

Your Guide to Gardening Through all 4 Seasons

As the weather becomes consistently cold (in late October and early November, in the upper Midwest), you can work at preparing your garden for winter. There are several aspects to winter preparation.
How to Deal with Squash Bugs

How to Deal with Squash Bugs

Squash bugs can destroy crops and are quite the nuisance. Check your squash plants daily for signs of squash bugs and their eggs.   What to look...
How to Save 🍅 Tomato Seeds

How to Save 🍅 Tomato Seeds

There are several ways that you can save your heirloom tomato seeds, but here are two of the most popular techniques.  Fermentation Method: Choos...
How To Tell When 🍆 Eggplant Is Ripe

How To Tell When 🍆 Eggplant Is Ripe

One of the easiest ways to determine if they are ripe is to gently squeeze the eggplant. Once you release, the skins should "bounce back". If indentations remain, the fruit is not quite ripe yet. 
Prepare NOW for a garden in the fall!

Prepare NOW for a garden in the fall!

Summer will soon be over but having a thriving vegetable garden doesn't have to end when summer does. With a little bit of planning, and p...

SHOP OUR ENTIRE SEED CATALOG

Browse through hundreds of different varieties

📙 SEED CATALOG {A - Z}
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

ENTER THE SEED SHOP ❱

YOU RECENTLY VIEWED