Parsnips are cool season, biennial plants grown as annual crops. They form long, tapered white roots that resemble large carrots. They will grow in either full sun or part shade in organically rich, well-draining soils. For the best parsnips, garden soils should be cultivated to at least a 12 in. depth. Parsnips require a long growing season of 110-125-days to mature. April plantings yield harvestable parsnips around Oct. to Nov. after a few hard frosts enhance their flavor. Sow seeds 1/2 in. deep, 3-6 in. apart with rows 18-24 in. apart. Thin to 8 to 9 in. apart after emergence. Be patient, seeds can be slow to germinate. Parsnips can be left in the ground for storage or harvest or keep in cool but humid location. A packet sows about 50 ft. of row; an ounce plants about 200 ft.
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