How to Plant Parsnips
The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler than most of them and have a stronger flavor. Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times.
Prepare the site.Loosen the soil with a fork and remove any weeds or large stones. Use a rake to create a level surface. Use the head of the rake to lightly press down the soil and lightly rake the surface once more.
Lay a piece of string on the soil.This will serve as a guide to make sure you dig the row in a straight line. You will also want to lay a plank of wood next to the line that you just made. Line the plank of wood up right next to the line that was formed by laying the string out as a guide.
Use a cane to dig a narrow hole.This is where the seeds will be placed. You can use other tools, if you wish. The narrow hole that you are digging should ideally be about 1 centimeter (0.4 in) deep in length.
Plant the parsnip seeds.Drop the seeds into the drills at the spacing recommended on the packet. If you are planting more than one drill, leave a 45 centimeter (17.7 in) gap between each one.
Cover the seeds gently with soil using a hoe.Then, using the head of the metal rake, lightly firm the soil.
Water the seeds in if the soil is dry.The soil should be kept moist and free of weeds throughout the growing season.
Build a frame to cover the drills.This will protect your plants from late frosts in spring. Push the sides of the fabric into the soil, or fix it in place with canes. Remove the barrier when the seeds germinate and the plants are visible through the soil.
QuestionHow far apart should I plant seedlings?Top AnswererFirst you plant the seeds close to each other. Then you thin the seedlings to leave 25 cm (10 in) between each plant.Thanks!
QuestionWhen are parsnips ready to pick?Top AnswererParsnips are ready to pick between 4 and 5 month after seeding. You can leave the plants in the ground after that; parsnips can sustain frost.Thanks!
- If you have poor soil you may want to add well-rotted organic matter before you plant the parsnips.
- Parsnips should be planted in sunny or partially shaded sites that are sheltered from the wind.
- It is useful to label your parsnips so you know where and when they were planted.
- Letting the plants go through frost can sweeten their flavour, so allow for some light winter frosts, or even overwinter them to allow for significantly sweeter parsnips.
Video: HGV How to grow Organic Parsnips from start to finish in a raised bed.
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