Parsnip - Key Growing Information

A box of parsnip roots, harvested, cleaned, and ready for storage.


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pastinaca sativa
CULTURE: Parsnips require well-drained soils, with a pH range of 6.0-6.8. Deep, loose, and fertile sandy loams and peat soils with good moisture-holding capacity grow the straightest and smoothest roots.
PLANTING: Sow in early to midspring in a 2" band about 1" apart (20 seeds/ft.), 1/2" deep, in rows 18-24" apart. Seed normally requires 3 weeks to germinate. Do not allow soil to dry out prior to emergence. Thin plants to 2-3" apart.
HARVEST: Mow tops and fork or undermine, or use root crop harvester. Parsnips require a full season of growth, and their sweet flavor is brought on by cold weather. Dig in the fall or leave in the ground through the winter. When harvesting in early spring, dig before the tops begin to re-grow for the highest quality roots.
STORAGE: Hold washed or unwashed in perforated bags or bins at 32°F (0°C) and 95% relative humidity.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATE: 1M/50', 5M/250', 25M/1250', 436M/1 acre at 20 seeds/ft. in rows 24" apart.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/LB.: 107,300-123,100 (avg. 115,700).
PACKET: 350 seeds, sows 17'.
CAUTION: In rare instances contact with the foliage can result in a severe rash. When working with this crop on hot, sunny days, we recommend wearing long sleeves and long pants and washing any exposed skin surfaces as soon as possible after contact.