How to Plant Parsnips

The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler than most of them and have a stronger flavor. Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times. [1]


  1. Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 1
    Prepare the site. Loosen the soil with a fork and remove any weeds or large stones. Use a rake to create a level surface. Use the head of the rake to lightly press down the soil and lightly rake the surface once more.
  2. Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 2
    Lay a piece of string on the soil as a guide to make sure you dig the row in a straight line. You will also want to lay a plank of wood next to the line that you just made. Line the plank of wood up right next to the line that was formed by laying the string out as a guide.
  3. Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 3
    Use a cane, or other tool, to dig a narrow hole that you will place the seeds in. The narrow hole that you are digging should ideally be about 1 centimeter (0.4 in) deep in length.

'Plant the Parsnip seeds. Drop the seeds into the drills at the spacing recommended on the packet. If you are planting more than one drill, leave a 45 centimeter (17.7 in) gap between each one.

Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 4
  1. Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 5
    Using a hoe, gently cover the seeds with soil. Then, using the head of the metal rake, lightly firm the soil.
  2. Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 6
    If the soil is dry, water the seeds in. The soil should be kept moist and free of weeds throughout the growing season.
  3. Image titled Plant Parsnips Step 7
    To protect your plants from late frosts in Spring, build a frame to cover the drills. Push the sides of the fabric into the soil, or fix it in place with canes. Remove the barrier when the seeds germinate and the plants are visible through the soil.


  • If you have poor soil you may want to add well-rotted organic matter before you plant the Parsnips.
  • Parsnips should be planted in sunny or partially shaded sites that are sheltered from the wind.
  • It is useful to label your parsnips so you know where and when they were planted.

Things You'll Need

  • seeds
  • draw hoe
  • cane or something similar
  • plank of wood
  • frame and horticultural fleece
  • garden fork
  • metal rake
  • stake and string
  • landscape rake
  • plant labels (optional)

Sources and Citations

  1. Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia

Article Info

Categories: Growing Vegetables