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How to grow Parsnips


ParsnipWith a bit of patience and proper care, you can grow your own parsnips in your garden or container. Here are the steps to follow:

Choose the Right Variety

Select a variety of parsnip that is suitable for your climate and soil type. Some popular varieties include Albion, White Gem or Archer.

Prepare the Soil

Parsnips prefer loose, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds and debris, and then dig in some compost or aged manure to improve the soil structure and fertility.

Sow the Seeds

Sow the seeds directly into the prepared soil in late winter or early spring. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged. Plant the seeds about 1 cm deep and 7 - 10 cm apart, leaving about 30 cm between rows.


Water the seeds regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Do not let the soil dry out completely, as this can cause the seeds to fail to germinate. Once the seedlings have emerged, water them deeply and less frequently to encourage deeper root growth.


When the seedlings are about 10 cm tall, thin them out to a distance of 15 - 20 cm apart. This will give each parsnip enough space to grow into a mature vegetable.


Keep the area around the parsnips free from weeds. Weeds can compete with the parsnips for water and nutrients, and can also attract pests and diseases.


Apply a balanced fertiliser to the parsnips about six weeks after planting. This will provide the plants with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.

Pest Control

Parsnips can be vulnerable to pests such as carrot rust fly and slugs. Use insecticidal soap or row covers to protect the plants from pests.


Parsnips take around 5 - 6 months to mature. Wait until the leaves have died back before harvesting the parsnips. Gently dig up the parsnips with a garden fork or trowel, taking care not to damage the roots.


Store the parsnips in a cool, dark place such as a root cellar or refrigerator. They can be stored for several months if kept at a temperature of around 0 - 2°C and high humidity.

Growing parsnips requires patience and attention to detail. By following these steps, you can enjoy the delicious taste of home-grown parsnips in your meals.


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