Parsnips are a great crop for the veg garden. Easy to grow, with a gorgeous sweet taste when cooked properly. They are also one of the few crops that can stay in the soil over winter.

Long-rooted parsnips need good, deeply cultivated, stone-free soils. There are also short varieties that will grow in any reasonable soil.


  • Prepare the soil well in autumn
  • Rake over the soil surface to a fine tilth in spring. Don’t add manure as this may rot the roots
  • Parsnip seed does not remain viable for very long so always sow freshly bought seeds
  • Only sow the seeds once the weather has warmed up in spring. Germination is slow in cold weather
  • Sow the seeds 2cm deep, 15cm apart in rows 30cm apart
  • Sow two or three seeds at a time and thin the seedlings to leave the strongest plant
Firework Safety

How to look after me

  • Soil: Light, stone-free
  • Position: Sunny or light shade
  • Location: Outdoors

Did You Know?

Parsnip plants don’t need much nitrogen so you can grow them where a nitrogen-hungry crop like cabbage was grown the previous year


  • Thin seedlings to 10cm apart for long-rooted parsnips or 7cm apart for smaller roots
  • Keep the area where the plants are growing weed-free
  • Water if a dry spell occurs to prevent the soil from drying out

David’s Top Tip

As parsnips are slow growing, sow a fast catch crop such as radish or lettuce in between the parsnip rows. This also helps to remind you where you planted them!

Parsnip Palace F1

Winter crops of delicious, exhibition quality roots

Pastinaca sativa

A popular, full flavoured variety of parsnip with broad shouldered, smooth roots. These seeds are pre-spaced along a fully biodegradable tape to make sowing really quick, easy and neat. The tape also holds moisture around the seeds to improve germination and seedling survival rates.