How to Grow Parsnips

How to Grow Parsnips

How to Grow Parsnips A popular winter root vegetable that makes a change from the ubiquitous winter cabbages and Brussels sprouts. Easy to grow provided there’s a good depth of soil.

Soil requirements

As with carrots, light land is best and stony ground difficult. Nor should it have received manure or compost immediately beforehand or the roots will fork.

Possible yield

About 9 lb (4kg) from 10ft (3m) of row.

Time from Sowing to harvest

From 6 months but they’re usually left much longer.


‘Countess’, ‘Gladiator’, ‘Tender and True’. The last two show good resistance to parsnip canker.


Parsnips used to be sown in February but there’s little to be gained by this unless you want them for an early autumn show. Sow in situ in April or May in rows half an inch deep and 8-12in (20-30cm) apart (the wider for broader varieties).


Never transplant.


When large enough to handle, thin the seedlings to 6in (15cm) apart for the larger varieties and 3in (7.5cm) for the smaller (seed catalogues will normally tell you the size of a variety).

Pests and diseases

Carrot fly and aphids may be troublesome. Leaf miner is also seen. Canker is the worst disease.


The flavour is greatly improved if the roots are left in the ground at least until they have been frosted; this turns much of the starch to sugar. Unless the ground is wanted for something else, leave the roots where they are until you want them. Cover them with straw at about Christmas to stop them being frozen into the ground. If you wish, they can be lifted and stored in clamps in the early winter.


16. March 2011 by admin
Categories: Organics, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , | Comments Off on How to Grow Parsnips


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