Sow seeds 5mm-1cm (¼-½”) deep. Cover seeds with compost and/or put row cover over planting area to shade the soil and conserve moisture. Thin to 7-10 cm (3-4″) apart in rows 45-60cm (18-24″) apart.
Days to Maturity: From direct sowing.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. Prepare ground as for carrots, digging deeply to loosen soil prior to planting For even longer parsnips, you can dig or form holes 60cm (24″) deep. Weed carefully and keep watered. Contact with parsnip leaves causes a rash in some people, so harvest and weed with long sleeves and gloves.
The flavour of parsnips is best after a couple of good frosts. Dig parsnips from late summer into the winter as needed. Protect from freezing in the soil with a thick straw mulch if it is a cold winter. Parsnips keep better in well-drained soil. The average family will be well supplied with a 6m (20′) row.
In optimal conditions at least 65% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 2 years.
Diseases & Pests
Carrot rust fly maggots may injure the roots of parsnips. The most reliable control is floating row cover. Practice crop rotation to prevent soil-borne disease.
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