Before the potato was introduced into Europe in the late 16th
century, the parsnip was largely used in cooking. Few vegetables
are as easy to grow, as nutritious or as versatile.
PARSNIP QUICK GUIDE
Hardy biennial grown as an annual.
Site and Soil
The best soil is rich and
Sowing to Harvest Time
Yield about 14 medium sized parsnips per 3m (10') row.
Parsnips are available as a fresh vegetable throughout the winter,
actually improving as the winter progresses and especially if a frost
gets to the roots. They can be baked, boiled or fried and the leaves can
also be eaten as a green vegetable, getting double value from the crop.
The problem with growing parsnips is that they have a very long growing
season. They are one of the first crops to be sown and probably the
last crop to be harvested. They occupy the land for the year, thus
taking up land which could be used for growing a series of crops.
If you have a small garden you may decide against
growing parsnips for this reason, although you may decide to grow a
catch crop such as radishes or lettuce, before the parsnips become
established in the spring.
To Grow Your Parsnips
Soil is the most important factor when growing parsnips. If you
have thin gravelly soil you will only get small mis-shapen roots The
best soil is rich and slightly on the heavy side, although it should not
be recently manured as this causes the parsnip to fork as they do if growing
on stony ground. Almost all well drained soils will produce a good
crop. Level the bed off to give a fine tilth a day or two before
sowing, which will normally be as soon as conditions allow in the late
winter or early spring.
Parsnips dislike very acid soil and do
best in one which is slightly acid, neutral or slightly alkaline, test
your soil with a soil test kit several weeks before preparing the seed
bed and if necessary, add lime to achieve a pH of 6.5. The site you
choose for parsnips is not as important as the soil, they prefer an open
sunny site, but they will also grow quite happily in a lightly shaded plot.
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Date posted: November 13, 2011 - 12:28 am
Message: Congratulations, you have achieved what we all aspire to, a great crop of parsnips.
Date posted: November 12, 2011 - 11:20 am
Message: Is it normal to have parsnips 3-4inchs in diameter? Have a real nice crop but they are hugs.
Name: Sheila Rose
Date posted: December 17, 2010 - 06:15 am
Message: Is it possible to grow parnips in pots? TIA. Sheila
Name: kathy spencer
Date posted: September 17, 2010 - 11:47 am
Message: My very first veg garden is doing great until today, something is eating the my parsnips from below, leaving only a hole and the top leaves balanced in the hole, they are all in a straight line with rows of swede and leeks either side but they are ok.... Please help, what is doing it that should leave tiny teeth marks in the young parsnips ????
Date posted: August 09, 2010 - 11:57 am
Message: Like most root crops Pete as soon as it starts to look like the vegetable and not like a fragile spindly root it is fairly safe to dig up and replant. Use a forked dibber. If you planted as you should, at the latest May, or even early June this year, you'll be able to move them now.
Date posted: August 08, 2010 - 11:50 am
Message: can any one help me? just started gardening and am in a bit of a pickle.Can anyone tell me the right time to take the 2 weak parsnips of of the 3 would be greatful cheers pete