Sow parsnip seeds in deep, well-worked soil in full sun after frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall. Straight roots require soil that is light, loosened deeply, and free of stones, so prepare a parsnip planting thoroughly. Consider using a soil amendment light sand if soil is heavy. Sow thinly in rows 12" apart and cover with 1/2" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings emerge in 21-27 days.
How to Grow
Thin parsnip plants to stand about 4" apart when seedlings are 1" high. Deep, regular watering will benefit roots the most.
For a sweet flavor, harvest parsnips after a light frost. You can continue to harvest parsnips all winter when the ground is not frozen. In areas with severe winters, mulch the area in early winter to keep the ground from freezing as long as possible. Harvest any remaining parsnips in the spring. Try roasting for a delicate, sweet earthy treat.