GROWING THE PERFECT PARSNIPS

Celeriac, parsley, celery, carrots and parsnips are members of the same family; Umbelliferae.

VARIETIES

Variety

Tender and True’ A long variety. Has very little core, and resistance to canker is high.

Offenham’ A standard medium-sized parsnip. Broad-shouldered and recommended for shallow

soils.

‘The Student’ Medium-sized. Thick tapering root. Excellent flavour.

‘Avonresister’ A small neat parsnip, much less subject to parsnip canker than many other varieties.

Site and Soil

All soils will produce a worthwhile crop, but for optimum cropping, soils which have been well dug in the autumn and have been enriched with rotted organic matter from the previous crop are recommended.

Seed-sowing

Seed can either be sown during March or May in drills 30 cm (12 inch) apart and 12 mm (½ inch) deep.

Routine Work

When the seedlings have germinated and are large enough to handle, thin them, leaving the plants 15 cm (6 inch) apart. Hoe regularly, avoiding damaging the developing plant.

Harvesting

Roots are lifted as reguired, but reserve supplies should be stored temporarily when severe frost threatens. Lift and clamp all roots before new growth starts in March.

Pests and Diseases

Pest/disease

Canker Shows as rusty-brown markings on the root. This is a complex disease involving three main types of fungus:

i) black canker

ii) purple canker

iii) orange-brown canker.

There are no effective control measures

crop rotation can help. Avonresister’ is resistant to the most common fungus disease. Use a long rotation.

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