These are not wild parsnips these are cultavated seeds.
At the moment my parsnips are under the basil but I will have a photo of them soon.
This article is pulled from a local website.
Please check out the websites below for recipes and more info.
Please check out my website for gardening info.
The problem with growing parsnips is that they have a very long growing season. They are one of the first crops to be sown and probably the last crop to be harvested. They occupy the land for the year, thus taking up land which could be used for growing a series of crops.
If you have a small garden you may decide against growing parsnips for this reason, although you may decide to grow a catch crop such as radishes or lettuce, before the parsnips become established in the spring.
Where To Grow Your Parsnips
Soil is the most important factor when growing parsnips. If you have thin gravelly soil you will only get small mis-shapen roots The best soil is rich and slightly on the heavy side, although it should not be recently manured as this causes the parsnip to fork as they do if growing on stony ground. Almost all well drained soils will produce a good crop. Level the bed off to give a fine tilth a day or two before sowing, which will normally be as soon as conditions allow in the late winter or early spring.
Parsnips dislike very acid soil and do best in one which is slightly acid, neutral or slightly alkaline, test your soil with a soil test kit several weeks before preparing the seed bed and if necessary, add lime to achieve a pH of 6.5. The site you choose for parsnips is not as important as the soil, they prefer an open sunny site, but they will also grow quite happily in a lightly shaded plot.
Sowing Parsnip Seed
The traditional time to sow parsnip seed is late winter but, unless the winter is mild, the soil is often frozen hard or too wet at this time. In most years you will probably have to wait until early spring before sowing. Although parsnips appreciate a long growing season, you can sow later, up to late spring if you have to, and still get a worthwhile crop. Ensure that the seed is fresh this year because parsnip seeds do not keep well.
Before sowing make sure the soil is well dug and free from stones to a spade's depth. Make a shallow drill in the soil about 2cm (¾in) deep. Where you require more than one row, make the rows 30-45 cm (12-18 in) apart. Sow one seed every 5cm (2in).
Because parsnip seed is so light it is advisable to wait until the weather is calm before sowing. You may be able to buy seeds that are pelleted, there are a few parsnip varieties which are available in this form. The pelleted seed is slightly heavier, so they will not blow away so easily. After the seeds have been sown cover them with soil, sifted soil is best for this, and then firm down. Water the area if the weather is dry. Germination takes approximately three to four weeks and is is quite possible for the newly forming seedlings to be lost amongst the newly germinating weeds. Weed frequently and carefully.
Many gardeners sow a quick maturing catch crop such as radish, or lettuce. This not only give you an extra crop but it also helps to mark out the rows of parsnips. If you do not wish to do this, keep your marker in position until the parsnip seeds have germinated and the rows of seedlings is obvious above the ground.
Care of Parsnips
When the seedlings are about 5 cm (2 in) tall, thin them so that they are 20cm (8in) apart. Water, particularly during the early stages of the crop, if the weather is dry and weed frequently. Be very careful when weeding with a hoe, if you damage the developing roots you may open the way for attack by canker.
Parsnips will be ready for harvest in mid-autumn. One obvious They are best left in the ground for a month or so because their flavour is improved by some exposure to frost. Frost increases the amount of sugar in the roots. Parsnips can be harvested up to mid-January.
Small parsnips in light soil can be pulled up once the soil around them has been loosened with a fork. Normally the only way parsnips can be lifted without breaking them is by digging. Begin at the end of the row and dig a hole beyond but close to the last parsnip. Dig the hole as deep at the parsnip and loosen the soil around the root and then it can be easily removed without damage. Lift the next parsnip by moving the soil next to it into the hole from which the first parsnip has been taken and continue like this to the end of the row. You may find that you have to dig down much further than you expect, the end of a parsnip tapers off for a considerable length 15 cm (6 in) or more, and has a very strong grip on the soil. You may want to break off the thinnest part of the root if you want to avoid digging a very deep hole possibly 45 cm (18 in) deep for each root. Once the parsnip has been lifted, cut off the remaining leaves, these are excellent compost heap material.
Although the best flavoured parsnips are ones that are lifted and taken into the kitchen straight from the ground, during the winter when the ground is frozen this will not be possible. To give you parsnips during this period you should dig up some roots in the early winter for storing. Store parsnips in the same way as you would carrots. Cut any leaves off close to the crowns and then pack them in layers of dry sand or peat in a large wooden box. Put a lid on the top to keep our the light and place the box in a cool, dry and airy place.
Pests and Diseases
Disease / Pest Symptoms
Wireworm Small regular holes and shiny yellow larvae
Sclerotina Rot Roots in store rotten and covered with a white fluffy mould
Canker Reddish brown, dark brown or black patches on the shoulders of the root.
Leaf Spot Small brown spots on the leaves.
Celery Fly White or pale brown blisters on the leaves, leaves shrivelled.
Carrot Fly Irregular holes in the root sometimes with small whitish grubs inside.
Sites to visit on the parsnip
Our fav. recipe is Parsnip Stew.
Take your fav. stew recipe and replace all the potatoes with parsnips.
Wonderful change in flavor.
If you do not have a stew recipe i would be happy to post one.