Parsnips are among the easiest veg to grow
Before sowing you have to think about the potential problems from carrot fly and parsnip canker that may put paid to your crop – sow resistant varieties such as ‘Avonresister’ and ‘Archer’, and try growing them in containers or drums if you’re being cautious, as this will prevent carrot fly from reaching your plants and destroying them.
You’ll also have to cover them over of you don’t want nibblers such as mice coming to eat your tender foliage as it grows!
Plus, if you’ve got stony ground, try and remove as many stones as possible and create a smooth tilth, or you may get forked roots.
You can pre-germinate your seeds in a plastic bag of moist compost to ensure germination – pop them in an airing cupboard, after a few days you’ll see little leaves emerging and then plant them up into your drill line.
This is a failsafe way of germinating, but you can always sow traditionally straight into your beds as per below, as long as you give your parsnips room to grow in a sunny spot with light crumbly soil.
- Lay a string line tight, fixed with a stake each end. Use a hand hoe to loosen soil.
- Make a drill as your planting hole 3 – 4cm (1.5 in) deep with a trowel.
- Sow a few seed 7 – 10cm apart all along the row.
- Cover the seed over, firm down the soil and water in well.