How to plant parsnips


Planting parsnips. May be grown over a wide area of the United States. Parsnips, however, do better in the northern sections of the country. Although they require warm soil and weather at planting time, they do not grow well in the high midsummer temperatures of the South.

They do best where they may be sown in the spring, grown during a mild summer, and harvested after the arrival of cold weather. Deep, fertile, light, crumbly soil, well stocked with rotted manure and commercial fertilizer, is most suitable. Use fresh seeds, not more than a year old, and assist germination by covering with leaf mould, sand, soil, and sifted coal ashes, peat or similar, non-baking material. Plant in rows 16 inches apart, covering the seeds to a depth of 1/2 inch.

Seeds should be sown thickly and the plants thinned later to a 3-inch spacing. Tramping the soil after the seeds are sown sometimes stimulates germination. Roots in cold storage above freezing improve in quality faster than those remaining in the ground. Winter freezing in the ground improves quality, and the belief that parsnips which stay in the ground the winter over and then start growth in the spring are poisonous is without foundation. Poisoning cases attributed to so-called wild parsnips have been traced, to water hemlock, which somewhat resembles the parsnip.

Be careful in using wild plants of this sort.

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