I am trying, once again, to grow these guys. In past years I have had 0% germination even though I used fresh seed. This year, I am sprouting the seeds indoors on a paper towel and then xplanting outside. We will see how that works.

Just curious if anyone on the forum has any pointers on growing these.


I sprout most seeds indoors in 2" plug trays. First I fill the tray(s) with seed starting mix and soak it down so the cells are about 3/4 full. Next I place seeds on the soil. For carrots, beets, etc. I usually place 2-3 per cell. Then I top the cells with vermiculite (not perlite) and gently spray it down. The trays are placed indoors on heat mats with a soil thermostat in one of the cells. I provide overhead lighting from 6am to 6pm (I use T-5 6500K bulbs). I set the thermostat at 70F because the overhead lighting also delivers heat to the trays. Monitor moisture in the cells so that they do not dry out. Most of my seeds are purchased from Johnny’s and I’ve never had germination problems with parsnip or any other of their seeds.

I usually have 2 varieties in the garden bed near the house. I just broadcast the seed over a wide row bed and then run the rake over the bed to set the seed and tamp them down with the rake as well. A lot of them remain exposed, but I get good germination. I do over sow and come back and thin.

1 Like

I do pretty much the same thing that Andy Smith talked about just broadcasted seed rake them over and tamp down, then water
My issue is that the parsnips sometimes are gnarled … not a nice clean straight growth of parsnip …makes it hard to clean them

1 Like

I’ve noticed that in stiff soils carrots will grow shorter and fatter but parsnips “get mad” about it.

Of course nematodes and too many soil critters can also make parsnips gnarled – keeping the pH near 6.8 can alleviate that problem.