How To Grow Parsnip: An Entertaining And Educational Guide

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Parsnip

Growing Parsnip

Parsnip is a root vegetable from the Apiaceae family that is similar in flavor to carrots and is often used in stews and other dishes. It has a sweet, nutty taste and can be eaten raw, baked, boiled, mashed, and roasted. It is a great source of fiber and antioxidants, and can be a low-calorie, nutritious alternative to other vegetables.

Cheatsheet: Growing Parsnip

Best time to plant

🌱Plant parsnip seeds in early spring or late fall.

Soil requirements

🏞️Loamy soil with a pH level between 5.8 and 7.5.


💦Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering.


📐Plant seeds 1 inch deep, 2-4 inches apart in rows 18-24 inches apart.

Germination period

🌱Seeds usually germinate within 14-21 days.

Growing time

🌱Parsnips take 90-120 days from seeding to harvest.


✂️Gently loosen soil before pulling parsnips. Harvest when roots are around 1 inch thick.


🔒Store parsnips in a cool, dark place for up to 2-4 months.

Nutrition facts

🥕Parsnips are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folate.

Self-sufficiency benefits

💪Growing parsnips at home promotes self-sufficiency and reduces reliance on store-bought produce.

The Art of Growing Parsnips

Getting Started

So, you've decided to take on the challenge of growing parsnips? Congratulations, my fellow green thumb! Let me share with you a few nuggets of wisdom that I have gathered over the years.

Did you know that parsnips are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in the world? They have been grown for centuries and are even said to have been a favorite of ancient Romans. Quite the esteemed history!

First things first, choose a spot in your garden with full sun exposure. Parsnips love soaking up those warm rays. Make sure the soil is well-drained, light, and fertile. Dig it up nice and deep, removing any stones or obstructions in the process.

Sowing the Seeds

Now comes the exciting part: sowing the seeds. When it comes to parsnips, patience truly is a virtue. The seeds can take their sweet time to germinate, so don't panic if you don't see any action right away.

Did you know that soaking parsnip seeds in water for 24 hours before planting can help speed up the germination process? Give it a try and see the magic unfold.

Plant the seeds about half an inch deep and leave a gap of around 3 inches between each one. If you're feeling adventurous, you can sow them in rows or blocks, but I prefer the simpler approach of scattering them liberally and seeing where nature takes them.

Caring for Your Little Wonders

As your parsnip seedlings emerge, resist the temptation to overcrowd them. Thinning them out to about 4 inches apart will give each plant the space it needs to thrive.

Fun fact: Did you know that parsnips have a long growing season? It can take anywhere from 90 to 120 days for them to reach their full potential. Patience, my friends!

Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period. Once your parsnips have established themselves, water deeply and infrequently. Mulching around the plants helps to retain moisture and suppress weeds, making your gardening life a little easier.

The Harvest

Ah, the sweet reward of all your hard work—the harvest! It's time to dig up those parsnips and marvel at the culinary delights that await you.

Did you know that after a frost, parsnips become even sweeter? It's like nature sprinkles a little magic on them to enhance their flavor.

Take care when harvesting your parsnips to avoid damaging the delicate roots. Gently loosen the soil with a fork before lifting them out. Aim to harvest them before they grow too large, as they may become woody and lose some of their sweetness.

A Few Pro Tips

  1. Interplanting parsnips with fast-growing crops like radishes can help break up the soil, making it easier for the parsnip roots to penetrate.
  2. Don't fret if your parsnips develop a forked appearance. It's all part of their charm and doesn't affect the taste.
  3. If you're short on garden space, try growing parsnips in deep containers. Just make sure they have enough room for their taproots to stretch.

Now that you have the know-how, go forth and conquer the world of parsnips! It may take time, but the rewards are well worth the wait. Happy gardening!


1. When is the best time to sow Parsnip seeds?

Sow Parsnip seeds directly outdoors in early spring or late summer.

2. How deep should I sow Parsnip seeds?

Sow Parsnip seeds approximately 1/2 inch deep.

3. How far apart should I space Parsnip seeds?

Space Parsnip seeds 2 inches apart in rows.

4. How long does it take for Parsnip seeds to germinate?

Parsnip seeds may take up to 3 weeks to germinate.

5. What if my soil is heavy or rocky?

If soil is heavy or rocky, consider growing Parsnips in raised beds or containers.

6. How often should I water Parsnips?

Water Parsnips regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist.

7. How do I thin Parsnip seedlings?

Thin Parsnip seedlings to 3-6 inches apart once they are 2 inches tall.

8. Are there any common pests or diseases that affect Parsnip plants?

Common pests affecting Parsnips are carrot fly, aphids, and slugs. Diseases include root rots and powdery mildew.

9. When are Parsnips ready for harvest?

Parsnips are ready for harvest after frost, typically in late autumn or early winter.

10. How do I store harvested Parsnips?

Store harvested Parsnips in a cool, dark and humid place like a cellar or refrigerator.

Parsnips are a versatile and tasty root vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways and are highly nutritious. High in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins C and K, parsnips are an excellent source of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Parsnips can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, mashed, or roasted and make a delicious addition to soups, stews, and casseroles. Growing your own parsnips is easy and a great way to get more fresh and flavorful vegetables into your diet.

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