Time to sow parsnip in my garden

This time of year is all about parsnip in the kitchen garden. I harvest last year's sowing and sow parsnip seeds in new little clusters.

Freshly harvested parsnip in my garden.


One of the most important root vegetables in my garden is of course parsnip. The reason why I like it so much is that it stays patiently in the ground the whole winter. You don't need to give it any special treatment. Just put it straight into the soil. Now that it's spring, I'm harvesting the last ones from last year's sowing, while also sowing new seeds.


Vita fina palsternackor i en hink. Sow parsnip, parsnips in a bucket.

It's so fun to harvest the roots almost a year after sowing them.


A lot of you have questions about parsnip and some think it seems hard to grow. Here are a few tips for you:


Seed viability

Store-bought seeds might not have the best seed viability. That's why they recommend that you sow parsnip seeds in little clusters and then remove the smallest plants. I sow 3-5 seeds in every spot in my row. But I actually don't thin out the rows. I will write more about this in tip number 3.



It's really important to water the seeds. Don't let them dry out! If the soil is dry, I water the row before I sow. This way, I don't need as much water later. The parsnips will need some time to grow. But they are on the other hand very low-maintenance when they have grown an inch or so.


More about parsnip: Harvesting parsnip


Platta fröer i ljust brunt mot en turkos bakgrund. Sow parsnip, flat seeds.

The parsnip seeds are flat and can be swept away by the wind quite easily. The fresh seeds have the best seed viability.


Grow in clusters

I sow parsnip in clusters, that I choose not to thin out. This will make the plants compete over nutrients and water, which in turn will keep them at a reasonable size. If you thin out the plants, they will get more room and start to grow huge. No one can use a monstrous parsnip like that though. A group of smaller parsnips makes so much more sense.



The plants will stay small if you don't fertilize them. But if you give them plenty of nutrients, then the leaves will grow nice and large. It's a sight to see in the garden. The best way to fertilize the plants is in my opinion to put grass clippings or some other nutrient-rich mulch between the rows of roots. This will provide the parsnips with plenty of nutrients all season long, and it also helps keep the soil weed free and moist.


En del av köksträdgården med upphöjda bäddar. Sow parsnip, the kitchen garden.

This is my root vegetable quarter. I sowed parsnip in the second bed from the left.


If you want to sow early, you don't have to worry that the parsnip seeds will get harmed by being in cold soil. Parsnip is one of the vegetables that you can winter sow in cold soil. The seeds start to germinate later in spring when the soil warms up.

More about winter sowing: Growing winter vegetables


Sowing early is a good way to spread out the work over the season. So make sure to sow parsnip as soon as you can.
/Sara Bäckmo

11. April 2019

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