The flavour of parsnips becomes sweeter after frost. They are a very versatile vegetable in the kitchen to fry, roast, steam, mash, or bake. Parsnips take their time becoming large in the garden, but then they can be harvested as needed since they store in the ground so well.
If you’re growing parsnips, the traditional time to sow seed in late winter. Our harvests have had the most success with sowing in the spring. In most years you will probably have to wait until early spring before you can sow. Parsnips appreciate a long growing season, 110 days, you can sow later, right up until late spring if you have to, and you will still get a worthwhile crop.
Prepare your soil before you sow! Make sure you have deep well-drained soil. Raised beds that are at least 60 cm work great. Fill with organic-rich soil, compost, sand, and fertilizer. If your soil is very loose you can pull the parsnips out by hand, even when they are 60 cm long.
Before sowing, make a shallow drill in the soil about 2 cm deep. If you are planting more than one row, make the rows 30-45 cm apart. Sow one seed every 5 cm. After the seeds have been sown cover them with soil, sifted soil is best for this, and then firm down. Water the area if the weather is dry. Germination takes approximately three to four weeks and it is quite possible for the newly forming seedlings to get lost among newly germinating weeds. Weed frequently and carefully.