The Harris Model parsnips develop into smooth, tapered roots that reach up to twelve inches in length. The flesh is almost pure white and has a sweet, nutty flavour. Harris Model is a good producer and a time-tested variety.
- Latin Name: Pastinaca sativa
- Life Cycle: Biennal, usually grown as an annual
- Days to Maturity: 130
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 8-9
- Planting Depth: 1-2 cm
- Plant Spacing: 5-8 cm
- Row Spacing: 45-60 cm
Parsnips are a unique and somewhat obscure relative of the carrot. Brought to North America by European settlers, parsnips were the main starch crop grown until they were overshadowed when the cultivation of potatoes was widely adopted. This root vegetable is extremely hardy, thrives in cool weather, requires a long growing season and should be harvested late after being touched by a few fall frosts.
Always use fresh seeds. The germination rate of parsnips, as well as other small seeds, goes down severely as they age.
Sow seeds as soon as soil can be worked in the spring. Mix in some compost and till the soil to a depth of at least 30 cm, until it is loose and drains well. The planting bed should be at least 9°C, but warmer temps will encourage germination. Sow one seed/cm about 1 cm deep. Water in lightly and maintain moisture throughout the germination process. Dainty green leaves should be seen shooting up in 2-3 weeks.
When seedlings get to be 5-8 cm tall, thin them to a distance of 8-10 cm. Roots should receive 3 cm of water/week. Water during the hot months and dry spells if needed. Mulching will certainly help retain moisture and prevent the shoulders of the roots from greening.
Parsnips will take about 3-4 months to be ready for harvest. It will be worth the wait. Exposure to a couple frosts will transform starches in the roots into sugars, lending a pleasant, one-of-a-kind flavour. After roots reach a diameter of 3 cm, they are mature enough to harvest. Store by clipping greens and keeping at 0-2°C. Enjoy these nutrient dense roots as a sweet and nutty complement to fall/winter soups and stews!
- The parsnip is originally native to Asia where it has been used as a vegetable since antiquity. The parsnip was very popular during the medieval ages in Europe, where it was used as a traditional vegetable, but also as a sweetener before the arrival of cane sugar.
- Parsnips were the main starch crop in North America until the beginning of widespread cultivation of potatoes during the 1850s.
- Parsnip seeds willremain viable for 1 year if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!