Planting Depth: ½”-3/4”
Days to Germination: 14-21 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F
Parsnips can be slow to germinate. Use fresh seed, since it does not have a long shelf life. Soak the seed in water for 24 hours, then sow directly into a well-draining, deeply dug bed, in full sun or light shade as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Sow thickly but evenly. Cover well, tamp down firmly and keep evenly moist until the seed germinates. Once the seedlings are 2" tall, thin to 4" apart. To prevent the Parsnips from forking, do not add extra organic matter to the soil. Keep the bed well-weeded. Allow Parsnips to be kissed by the frost to develop a sweet, nutty flavor. Harvest anytime after the first hard frost and store in a cool place. You may also leave them in the garden to be harvested as needed or overwintered for an early spring treat. After harvest, twist off the leaves since they draw water from the roots.
Tips for Harvesting and Storing Root Vegetables