Parsnip ‘Guernsey’ Seed Tape
 
 

Parsnip ‘Guernsey’ Seed Tape - Seed

Pastinaca sativa subsp. sativa  

Rediscover the potential of this old-fashioned vegetable

This rather old-fashioned vegetable, the parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), is a very popular vegetable in the UK kitchen. Parsnip 'Guernsey' is very easy to grow and can be braised, roasted or eaten raw. Length of the seed tape 7.5 m.
 

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Parsnips seed needs no prior treatment and the seed tape is ready-to-use.

Sowing

Sow outdoors from April to May.

Sow outdoors, preferably in full sun, from April to May. Loosen the soil with a fork to a depth of 30 cm. Draw a furrow about 1.5cm deep and label the row. Lay the tape in, cover with 1.0 soil and sprinkle with water. Extra rows should be 40 cm apart.

The seed will germinate in 21-28 days.

Parsnip was used just like the potato in the middle ages, eaten almost daily by the common folk because it kept all winter, and is easy to grow. Originating in Mediterranean regions it was of course also eaten by ancient Greeks and Romans. Parsnip greens smell quite like celery, the root itself is sweet with a faint aniseed flavour.

Biannual, the plant grows a large rosette of leaf with a large root in the first year but does not produces flowers. As soon as things heat up in the 2nd year, a flower spike will form and resembles celery and carrot. Belonging to the family of Apiaceae, the parsnip has one noticeable difference in that its flowers are yellow - most others in the family are white.

Use

Freshly harvested parsnip will keep for up to a week in the fridge but are best harvesting only when required. Frost will not affect them in the winter.

Eat your parsnip raw or cooked, just like a carrot really. You can even deep fry them... parsnip chips!

Parsnips are not partial to fertiliser so do not sow where the ground has been fertilised in the winter. However, a slow release type feed of a low content Nitrogen (N) and high content Potassium (K) is o.k.

Water extra during dry periods and keep the bed free of weeds to allow your parsnips to thrive. They take a long time to grow - about 5 months. Sown early (April) you can harvest them in September

Harvesting

Harvest from September through to the following February.

Parsnips become sweeter after the first frost. Storing it for a couple of days in the fridge has the same effect.

Loosen your parsnips out of the ground with the back of a rake to harvest individually. Harvest from late summer throughout the winter. Parsnips are pretty hardy but be aware that you not may be able to harvest them if the ground freezes. Covering your parsnips carefully can help avoid this problem.

If parsnips start to grow again in the spring, you are too late to harvest them - they will be bitter and no longer taste nice and the flesh will be spongy.


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