[Market-farming] parsnip varieties

Shoemaker, William H wshoemak at illinois.edu
Tue Jan 10 08:27:07 EST 2012

Robert and Aaron both give good recommendations. Another suggestion is to use raised beds. A 6" deep bed about 18" across the top with twin rows, each about 4" in from the edge will allow the roots to grow straight and fill out nicely. They'll also be easier to harvest. I like to raise carrots this way as well. If you use drip irrigation, lay a drip-tape down between the two rows, and as Robert suggested, irrigate frequently to optimize moisture availability. You may need to use sprinklers during stand establishment to keep the seeds and small seedlings well watered.


William H. Shoemaker

University of Illinois, Crop Sciences

St Charles Horticulture Research Center

535 Randall Road, St Charles, IL  60174

630-584-7254, wshoemak at illinois.edu<mailto:wshoemak at illinois.edu>

From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] on behalf of Aaron Brower [aaronbrower at yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2012 6:50 PM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] parsnip varieties

In addition to what Robert said, always use new seed. Old parsnip seed has poor germination. It takes up to 3 weeks so don't get too worried if you don't see germination right away. To be safe, sew them thicker than you may want and expect to thin but don't give them too much space. I would recommend keeping them closer than the seed companies tell you. We thin them at about 1 to 1.5 inches. If you give them much more you get gigantic parsnips. You may get a better yield with the larger ones but most people dont want their parsnips to be half pounders.
Also be sure to leave them in the ground til they get several good frosts on them. It sweetens them up.

For your trouble they should fetch a premium in the winter and the spring.
From: Robert G. Hadad <rgh26 at cornell.edu>
To: "market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, January 9, 2012 7:06 PM
Subject: [Market-farming] parsnip varieties

  The key with parsnips is keeping the soil moist. Start with a moist soil when seeding. Water deep before seeding if need by. Keep irrigation on them for several weeks at planting time. Turga, Javelin, Andover, and Harris can all produce a great crop if they have friable soil to stretch that first tap root out into and again, enough water.


Robert Hadad
Cornell Vegetable Program
Fresh Market Specialist
4487 Lake Ave.
Lockport, NY 14094
rgh26 at cornell.edu<mailto:rgh26 at cornell.edu>
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