Where to grow
- Parsnips are a fantastic crop that can provide you a fresh harvest during those cold winter months.
- However, they can be a little fussy about where you grow them.
- Parsnips will appreciate a soil that is not too heavy and they especially hate soil that is too cold or waterlogged.
- Also make sure if you are growing them in containers the soil is deep enough for the roots to fully develop.
- If you are growing in rows in the ground make sure the soil is not too rocky or compacted
- Due to the time taken to mature, they will take up a large growing space all summer, so make sure you have the space for your other desired crops.
- The hardest part of growing parsnips is always the germination, they can be fussy germinators. But the good news is once they have germinated they are very simple to grow from here.
- In order to help with germination make sure to use fresh seeds every year.
- The best temperature range to germinate parsnips is above 3*C but below 16*C so in the UK climate March to May is the best time to sow.
- I recommend sowing the seeds 1cm deep and 10cm between plants. If you are growing in rows space the rows 30cm apart.
- Parsnips are very slow growers so make sure you are willing to sacrifice a large growing area for the whole summer season. As a result I would sow another crop in between rows such as radish.
- Parsnips do not require much water while growing, the rain will usually take care of their watering needs but during a prolonged dry spell just keep the soil moist.
- Parsnips do not like being transplanted so it is always best to sow direct in their final growing position.
- The major downside to growing parsnips is the time it takes from sowing to harvest. It is not uncommon for them to take over 35 weeks to fully mature.
- Parsnips can be harvested young as a summer snack but it is more common to leave them to fully develop, giving you a lovely autumn and winter harvest.
- Once the foliage starts to die back the parsnips are ready to pull.
- Parsnips will store well if left in the soil and it is often argued the first frost of the year makes them taste even better.
-Gladiator: Lovely sweet flavour with a smooth skin
-Javelin: A classic that will store well in the soil
-Tender and true: Resistant to may common issues