Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Parsnips are a member of the carrot family known as the Umbelliferae family to be exact. They can look similar to white carrots. They are a root vegetable that was very popular in ancient times, brought to North America by the first colonists. Like many other root vegetables, they can be enjoyed in many ways. Boiled, baked, fried with a bit a seasoning or in soups and stews.
We recommend planting parsnips in the early spring as they have a long grow period of 105 days.
Can you grow them in the shade? Well partly. Parsnips like full sun but can grow in part shade as well. Try to find an area that gets about 6 hours of sun a day.
Planting seeds direct to soil an out 1/2" deep. With a 2" spacing (thinning them to 3" apart - You can check out how to thin them here -> Carrot thinning) Plant rows 12" apart.
12" row spacing
Seeds germinate best what the soil is about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24C) and takes about 2-4 weeks. Be sure to keep the soil evenly moist during the germination period.
Be sure to leave them in the ground as long as possible. The longer they are left growing the sweeter the taste will be. Leaving them till after the first few touches of frost in the fall is perfectly fine, but harvest before the ground freezes. What the cold touches the parsnips it turn the starch to sugar which is how it becomes sweeter. Parsnips can grow up to 12" (30cm) long and 3" wide, providing you lots to work with in the kitchen.
Did you know?
“Cooked parsnips has 3 grams of fiber and only 55 calories. They are a good source of vitamin C (11% of the recommended daily allowance), folate (11%), and manganese (10%)."
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