Growing Parsnip

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 6°C and 21°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 8 - 10 cm apart
  • Harvest in 17-20 weeks. Best flavour if harvested after a frost..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Swiss Chard (Silverbeet), Capsicum, Peas, Potatoes, Beans, Radishes, Garlic
  • Avoid growing close to: Carrot, Celery, Brassicas

Your comments and tips

27 Jul 19, Karen (New Zealand - temperate climate)
So is there any particular seeds best to buy parsnips for brand . Karen
13 Apr 19, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
When is the best time to plant parsnip seeds I live in Worcester in western cape?
01 Apr 19, Catherine Ingraham (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Can you sow parsnips in the fall,such as November, and harvest in the spring?
26 Mar 19, Clarkee (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I wonder, if I sow Swiss Chard (above it says a good companion to parsnips) then once the card reaches a height that shades the soil around it, I then sow the parsnips amongst the chard, will that keep the soil cool and less likely to dry out for my parsnip seeds to germinate?
12 Nov 18, Alison (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
With regard to the parsnips I would recommend you try germination before planting them. Lay the seed on paper hand towel or similar. Lay seeds onto paper and cover with another paper towel. Dampen paper and keep moist (I'm thinking a sprayer would be a good idea). After 3-4 weeks there should be tiny roots forming. Using tweezers to handle seeds, transfer them to the soil bed you have prepared. Now, I haven't done this (by some fluke my seeds germinated and I have three small rows at different stages!) but I will next year. Successful gardening!
28 Jun 20, Mark Stentiford (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have tried this last year with VERY good results (with three year old seeds as well), place in a container with a lid and you only need to water them once, you can also select the best of the crop to transplant with no failure. Good luck
30 Sep 18, Gloria Yates (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Can I plant now in we nc 8b?
23 Sep 21, Hope (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Yes, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve been starting then indoors in a repurposed mushroom tray with minimal success in germination, but I’m going to presprout then as a previous commenter suggested.
24 Jan 18, Doug (Australia - tropical climate)
Live in Cairns, love parsnips, but none available in supernarkets in Jan. What if I grow them here then put in freezer for a few days after harvest? Will they grow sny time of year in tropics? Thsnks
28 Jan 18, Naomi (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Doug, I'm just up the hill from you and we do get some August frost, some years, so not tropical, but not sub-tropical either, ughh! I've had some luck and many failures with parsnips. Planting in cool weather as recommended has not worked for me because the plants are maturing in the heat before monsoon and going to seed instead of plumping roots. This year I am planting in February to try take advantage of maturing in the cooler months. If you give them a go I'd recommend protecting the plot from the lovely monsoon rains while seeds are germinating to avoid rot.
Showing 11 - 20 of 90 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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