Parsnip

Growing Guide

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Where to plant

Full sun. Well drained soil.

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Sow depth

1cm

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Space between seeds / seedlings

7-10cm

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Row space

7-10cm

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Size of pot needed (width / depth)

50cm2

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Seedling Sow Depth

2.5cm

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Best practice

Directly sown

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Germination (days)

14-20

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Maturity (days)

121-152

How to Grow

How to grow video guide
From seed

Parsnips love soft soil so dig around where you intend to plant.

Dig a shallow grove and plant seeds 6mm deep.

Cover, firm gently with your hard over the seed, and water well.

Sow new parsnip seeds as old seeds have a poor germination rate.

Thin seedlings after 4-5 weeks.

From seedling

Leave 7-10cm between plants, firm down, water in well.

In a pot

Due to parsnips' size, growing them in a pot is not recommended.

You will need a pot at least 60cm wide and deep.

Follow seed -> seedlings growing guide.

Ready to harvest

Begin pulling roots early.

Leave some in the ground to spread your harvest window.

Collect seed

To get viable seeds, you’ll need to let at least six parsnips flower.

20 or more plants are better to ensure genetic diversity and make sure your parsnips don’t get inbred.

It’s a good idea to leave a few extras in case some don’t make it through the winter.

Parsnips are pollinated by insects.

When those big yellow flowers appear, they can cross with other varieties of parsnip that are in flower as far as one mile away.

The flowers will go to seed.

The seeds are ready to harvest when they are mostly brown and dry.

They can be harvested easily by hand, holding a bucket or bag underneath the seed clusters to catch them as you pull them off the plant with your fingers.

Alternately, the whole plants can be cut or pulled when the seeds are mostly dry and brought under cover to finish drying out.

Put the plants upside down in a bag or box to catch the seeds as they fall.

Parsnip seeds will last 2-4 years in a cool, dry place.

When to Grow

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Zone 1 - Cool

January , February , September , October , November , December

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Zone 2 - Temperate

January , February , March , July , August , September , October , November , December

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Zone 3 - Subtropical

February , March , April , May , June , July , August , September , October

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

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It's best to sow fresh parsnip seeds, as old seeds can have a poor germination rate.
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Harvest Parsnips early to allow more room for the rest of your crop to grow.
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Weed carefully around parsnips to avoid damaging the crown of the plant.
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Parsnips keep well in the soil, so harvest can continue over long periods Any spare space between rows can be used to grow small lettuces, microgreens, or other compact veggies.
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Parsnips can take 4-5 months to reach maturity, so it's important that plants are well settled in before the cold weather arrives.

However, once the plants are established, frost is said to sweeten the flavour of the roots!

Pests & Problems


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