Parsnips are a root vegetable that's often used in soups and stews to enhance their flavor. Although a biennial vegetable, parsnips are grown as an annual vegetable. Today we'll show you how to grow parsnips, which are a cool season crop and are best harvested after a hard frost. Parsnips are a very easy vegetable to grow as long as you live in a cooler climate, since they don't require a lot of care and aren't too fussy about the soil.
How to Grow Parsnips
- Purchase parsnip seeds from your local nursery and make sure they are fresh.
- Sow the seeds as soon as the soil is workable – parsnips have a long growing season.
- Loosen soil to a depth of 12-15 inches and mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost.
- Sow the seeds in twos and plant them about 1/2 inch deep.
- You should start seeding parsnip seedlings in 2-3 weeks.
Caring for Parsnips:
- Once seedlings emerge, thin them to about 3-6 inches apart.
- If rainfall is less than 1 inch per week, water your parsnips during the summer.
- Keep the beds free of weeds.
- Parsnips should mature in about 16 weeks.
- For a better harvest, leave the parsnips in the ground for a few frosts, but take them out before the ground hardens.
- If you decide to leave them in the ground during the winter, cover them with a thick layer of mulch and harvest them as soon as the ground thaws in the spring.