Growing Food

How to Grow & When to Plant Parsnips in Your Backyard Garden

Parsnips blog post
Parsnips are an extremely tasty addition to your garden! They have been known to be tough to germinate, but are easy to take care of once they do. It is important to use fresh seeds for parsnips to ensure germination success.

How to Grow:

Parsnips can be planted outdoors 2-4 weeks before your last spring frost and again approximately 12 weeks before your first fall frost. Parsnips can be continued to plant over the summer, but they don’t much care for temperatures over 90F (32C) and will not do well fin these conditions. You can see specific dates for your location using our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App.

Parsnips can grow to be almost 3 feet tall! Space out your plants at least 9 per square foot. Parsnips will require full sun to part shade. Take care to notice what plants are around the area as well, see the companion plant section below. Plant your seeds 1/2 inches deep. Once planted, it will take approximately 7-21 days to sprout. Keep covered with burlap and well-watered during germination to increase your chances of sprouting. Must have consistent moisture until maturity. Reduce to prevent cracking once mature.

Companion Plants:

Companion planting is a vital part of organic gardening. Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. There are also plants that do not like being next to each other. Some plants get too tall and can provide too much shade for your plant. Sometimes certain plants attract the same pests, so it is important to try and separate these. Parsnips are great companion plants because they attract predatory insects which help to protect itself and other plants around it. They are especially good at repelling fruit flies which makes this very beneficial for fruit trees and bushes.

         Good   Bad
Apples Apricots Arugula Carrots
Basil Beans (Bush & Pole) Blackberries Celery
Blueberries Bok Choy Brussel Sprouts Dill
Cabbage Cantaloupe Cherries Fennel
Chives Cilantro/Coriander Cucumbers Turnips
Currants Elderberries Fig  
Garlic Goji Berries Gooseberries  
Honeydew Kiwi Leeks  
Lettuce Marigolds Marjoram  
Mustard Greens Onions Oregano  
Peaches Pears Peas  
Peppers (Banana, Bell, Hot, Sweet) Plums Pomegranate  
Potatoes Radish Raspberries  
Rau Ram (Vietnamese Cilantro/Coriander) Sage Shallots  
Strawberries Tarragon Tomatillos  
Tomatoes (Bush & Vine) Watermelon    

See companion plants for 100 foods in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web app!

Pests:

Pests can be one of the most difficult challenges you face in the garden. We strive to grow food without the use of pesticide and luckily there are natural solutions for most of these nasty pests! The pests listed below are common ones for pole beans:

Learn more about how to manage pests and attract beneficial insects in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App!

Harvesting:

Parsnips will be ready to harvest in approximately 95-120 days. Parsnips are very similar to carrots in which they’ll be sweeter and more tender when you pick them early. They also sweeten up in the fall as it turns colder.

Cooking & Eating!

Scrub with a brush but don’t peel them because this is where most the nutrients are contained. Eat raw, steamed, boiled, or sauteed. Our favorite way to eat parsnips is chopped into french-fry sections and baked in the oven!

 

Learn more about growing 100 different foods, including how to manage various pests in our FREE iOS, Android, or new Universal Web App!

 

One thought on “How to Grow & When to Plant Parsnips in Your Backyard Garden

  1. You would not believe this, but I tried parsnips for the FIRST time just about three years ago. I did not know what they were when someone gave them to me. They were quite tough, so ended up in a stew. They were not very good, but got my attention. Now I like them as an alternative to carrots; especially since I loathe carrots! I will not be growing any this years, but perhaps next year. The garden can not be worked on until the end of the month, and I will not sow any for autumn here.

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