Top Questions About Parsnips

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Questions About Parsnips

Asked by
wolfsong on
March 5, 2011

Q. Growing Well Formed Parsnips

My parsnips don’t get long and tapered. Instead they are kind of round bulbs with several small roots sticking out. Why is this happening?

Answered by
Heather on
March 7, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

This can be cause by 2 things. The first is that the ground may lack phosphorous, which helps with root formation. The other is that the ground may be too heavy. Root vegetables need soft, organic material rich soil to grow well.

Add some bone meal to help with phosphorous and amend the soil.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
April 22, 2011

Q. Parsnips

I planted my parsnips in two raised beds. When I dug my parsnips this spring, some were normal (in the form like carrots) but about two thirds were short, stubby, and had bunched roots. No good. The soil is very fertile and loose. It is a problem because the parsnip is difficult to prepare and not very productive.

Answered by
Nikki on
April 23, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

This article should help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/parsnips/how-to-grow-parsnips.htm

Make certain that you allow adequate spacing between them, as they require room for their roots to grow. You should also fertilize them as well.

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Asked by
ncw on
May 15, 2011

Q. When Do I Pick Parsnips

I planted parsnips last spring and did not pick them in the fall. Now the tops are about 2 feet tall. Do I wait till fall or pick now?

Answered by
Heather on
May 15, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

You can pick them now. You may find that they are a little woody, though. If you wait till fall, they will go to seed and the roots will not be very good for eating.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
June 7, 2011

Q. Growing Parsnips

On parsnips – I have found that seeds dropped from bolted parsnips germinate better than seeds from packets. But that leads to a problem. The new plants grow to an inch high in the fall, overwinter, then grow in spring and bolt in early June before much of a root has formed. So I have healthy abundant parsnips but nothing to eat. Can you suggest what modification to make to my method? I live in central Maryland. Also, you should warn parsnip growers to limit contact with the leaves when one’s pores are open (i. e. when sweating). It will wreak havoc on your skin.

Asked by
PaulaFitzpatrick on
September 11, 2011

Q. Parsnips

My parsnips have large leafy tops which are falling over and growing through each other. Should I stake them?

Answered by
Heather on
September 17, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

You don't need to but they floppy leaves can be untidy and staking will not hurt them.

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Asked by
clintons3 on
October 17, 2011

Q. Parsnips

Why do my parsnips look like a bulb with lots of roots? It looks like an alien but tastes the same.

Answered by
Heather on
October 19, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

This happens when the soil is tough, either rocky or clay heavy. The roots grow into the soft areas in the soil, around the hard rock or clay, which results in deformed roots.

Amending the soil with compost or other organic materials will help improve this.

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Asked by
clintons3 on
October 19, 2011

Q. Parsnips

I asked a question about my parsnips and your answer was rocky ground, definitely not any rocks or stones at all in the ground. It is a  well manured, raised bed they are in.

Answered by
Heather on
October 23, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

If you do not believe that tough soil is the issue, I would have a soil test done. A lack of phosphorous or potassium can affect the roots in a number of ways, among them deformed roots.

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