Parsnips are biennial plants that originated from Eurasia and has been introduced to the different parts of the world.
This plant, parsnip, is a tuberous vegetable belonging to the Umbellifers family and it is closely related to carrots and turnips.
This tuberous plant is botanically known as Pastinaca sativa and it is a root vegetable that bears the edible part of the plant on its root.
The edible tuber of this plant is usually white/creamy in color and for this reason, is referred to as “white-colored carrot” usually reaching a length of 6 to 10 inches.
The parsnip plant is a very nutritious plant that is very rich in minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibers and they can be consumed in different ways.
The mature parsnip plants develop inflorescences that bear miniature flowers that have both male and female reproductive organs.
The parsnip plant is a highly underrated plant in our daily lives; however, this plant is a very nutritious plant and it is worth growing.
Do you enjoy the parsnip plant in your food? Do you love consuming parsnips? Are you interested in learning how to grow your own parsnips? In this article, we will teach you how and when to grow parsnips.
Table of Contents
- 1 When is the appropriate time to grow Parsnips?
- 2 How to grow Parsnips?
- 2.1 Choose a variety of parsnips to grow:
- 2.2 Order seeds packets:
- 2.3 Choose a growing site:
- 2.4 Prepare the soil:
- 2.5 Sow the seeds:
- 2.6 Allow seedlings germinate:
- 2.7 Thin seedlings to allow for growth:
- 2.8 Water the parsnips:
- 2.9 Reduce competition by weeding:
- 2.10 Fertilize the soil:
- 2.11 Ensure proper management:
- 2.12 Practice mulching:
- 3 Conclusion
When is the appropriate time to grow Parsnips?
Growing parsnips is a great deal, however, choosing the appropriate time to sow the seeds is very important.
Of the many things to consider when growing your plant, the time to grow your plant is very crucial as it can affect the rate of germination as well as the productivity of the plant.
The right time to grow parsnips is just after the winter has passed and the soil becomes workable and easy to till.
However, before you decide to grow your plant and achieve good germination, it is advisable to wait until the soil temperature warms up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Centigrade).
The seeds of parsnips do not do well in soils that are too cold as this can result in seed rot. To prevent the occurrence of seed rot, it is advisable to wait for 2 to 3 weeks after spring solstice; once this period has passed, the seeds will germinate well.
The time to grow parsnips usually varies depending on the location and weather, whichever the case, you should ensure that the temperature meets the required standard. The time to grow your parsnips usually falls between April and May.
How to grow Parsnips?
Parsnips are easy plants to grow when the environmental requirement needed by the plant is met as this form the most essential stage in the plant’s life.
This tuberous plant is grown from tiny seeds which can either be started indoors or directly in the soil. Parsnip is a hardy plant that can survive in most areas, however, if you want to achieve the best growth development and productivity, follow the following steps:
Choose a variety of parsnips to grow:
There are different varieties of parsnips available in the market and on online stores. However, when making the decision of variety to grow ensure that you put into consideration your soil type, location (weather condition and sunlight exposure), etc.
Some of the different varieties of parsnips that are available for sale include Gladiator, Tender and True, Hollow Crown, Harris Model, and Countess among others. Just make sure to choose a variety that has a higher potential of growing well in your environment.
Order seeds packets:
seeds of parsnips have a viability period of 2 years at maximum, therefore, when you want to grow your own plant, ensure that the seeds to be purchased are new with a High viability rate.
You can order seeds packets from any reputable farm or agricultural firm around your area – there are also online stores where you can purchase parsnips seeds.
However, if you have grown parsnips before, to get seeds from the plant, allow it to grow for two growing seasons (as a biennial plant); once it begins to flower, it will develop seeds that can be propagated.
Choose a growing site:
The site chosen for growing parsnips should be well exposed to sunlight, at least 6 hours per day. The soil should be rich in nutrients required for the growth and overall development of the plant.
The best soil type for growing parsnips is sandy or loamy; however, it must be well-draining as this plant does not do well excess water.
The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral; alkaline soils should be acidified (mix the soil with white vinegar or coffee grounds – depending on which is readily available to you).
Prepare the soil:
Ensure that the soil for growing parsnips is well tilled and is good enough for growing the parsnip plants.
The pH level of the soil is an important factor to consider when dealing with plants and make sure it has a pH that is slightly acidic to neutral (5.0 – 6.9).
You should ensure that the soil is well fertilized by incorporating manure or fertilizer into the soil weeks before planting.
Design a planting row that can run straight along with the space available and each row should have a spacing of at least 30 centimeters between them. Make sure that the soil is of good status before planting commences.
Sow the seeds:
The seeds should be planted all at once as leaving remnants causes the damage of the seeds. Sow at least 3 seeds per stand to ensure growth.
When planting parsnips, this should be done at a depth of 0.5 inches and a spacing of 0.5 inches.
The space between rows allows spaces for the development of very large and edible roots that are very strong and nutritious. Cover up the soil (not heavily) to set the plant up for growth.
Allow seedlings germinate:
Seeds germinate to form seedlings within 18 days after sowing has been completed. Always ensure that the soil is slightly watered to provide a good environmental condition for the seeds to germinate.
Within 3 weeks of sowing, depending on the seed variety propagated, seedlings will begin to grow. Ensure that water is made available to plants root twice or thrice a week to ensure the development of soft, sweetened, and flavored roots.
Thin seedlings to allow for growth:
Once seedlings begin to grow for a couple of weeks and competition between seedlings becomes higher, get rid of weak and thinner seedlings.
The stronger and remaining seedlings should be thinned to a distance of about 3 to 4 inches apart in rows to give room for effective development.
Thinned seedlings should be removed from the space and disposed of; however, you can use it as a source of manure.
Water the parsnips:
Parsnips needs water to be able to develop roots that are well-flavored and sweetened. The root of parsnips move in the direction of water and the depth water reach in the soil is directly proportionate to the depth of penetration which the fleshy root of this plant can reach.
You should water the plant well once thinning as been completed to ensure that it roots well and becomes very productive.
Reduce competition by weeding:
Unwanted greens or plants growing in the location where your parsnips should be gotten rid of, especially during this early stage of growth.
Weeding out unwanted plants will ensure that the plants can grow well and become well situated in the ground.
You should practice regular weeding to reduce the rate of competition available for this interesting plant. Hand weeding is highly recommended to avoid damaging developing roots.
Fertilize the soil:
Fertilization is the method of improving the nutrient available to the soil. You should add the necessary amount of fertilizer to the base of the plant (side dressing) by carefully adding to the side of the root at the base.
Fertilization enhances the quality of the tubers as it makes more nutrients available to the plant’s root. Fertilization should be done around the 8th to 10th week. Ensure you fertilize to keep the soil healthy enough for growing parsnips.
Ensure proper management:
Practice regular management practices such as weeding and watering on a regular basis to ensure that the plant grows well.
Weeding should be more concentrated in the early stages of growth so that the plant can survive well and watering should be done throughout the period of plant growth.
When it is about time to hit the cold autumn season, mulching should be practiced to improve the plant’s health. Add a very thick layer of mulch to the base of the plant to ensure the protection of the plant.
This is very important to set parsnips tuber well for the harvesting season and also prevent freezing which could damage the tuberous roots. Mulching will also help improve the fertility of the soil in the long-run and enhance productivity.
Parsnips have been a source of food for both humans and animals in different parts of the world and its essentiality in our world today cannot be overemphasized.
From its nutritious benefits to other properties that it bears, it is a plant to appreciate under every possibility. Enjoy the beauty of parsnips by learning how to easily and conveniently grow parsnips at the appropriate time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !